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Something in the water

Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!

Daily Point

The Long Island daily

Tuesday isn’t turning out to be a high point when it comes to prominent Long Islanders making national news.

Island Park’s own Alfonse D’Amato, the former U.S. senator, made media waves for being kicked off a JetBlue plane Monday night in Fort Lauderdale on a flight bound for Kennedy Airport.

News reports say the flight was delayed for six hours, and then coach-class passengers were asked to start switching seats to address balance and weight issues. A video shot by a passenger and posted on Facebook shows D’Amato standing in the aisle proclaiming, “We can still speak in this country,” and exhorting others to leave the plane with him as local law enforcement officers escorted him away.

And Manhasset’s Bill O’Reilly made headlines when The New York Times reported that Fox News settled sexual harassment allegations against him this summer around the same time the cable network was paying anchor Gretchen Carlson $20 million to settle similar allegations she made against then-Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.

The network reportedly paid on-air personality Juliet Huddy an amount in the high six figures after she alleged that O’Reilly, who had a lot of influence over her job assignments and airtime, repeatedly made sexual advances toward her. The popular anchor and author reportedly settled a similar case brought against him in 2004 by a producer on his show, Andrea Mackris, for millions of dollars.

Maybe it’s something in the water.

Lane Filler

Talking Point

Divided disapproval of Trump

A just-released Quinnipiac University poll has very negative numbers for Donald Trump’s performance as president-elect: Just 37 percent approve while 51 disapprove of him.

A breakdown of the numbers, however, shows that not much really has changed in a nation stunningly divided by party affiliation. Eighty-five percent of Democrats dislike his behavior, while most Republicans, 76 percent, approve of it. And more men than women approve of Trump’s actions.

Still, Trump is heading to inauguration with perhaps the highest disapproval ratings of any president-elect on record. And to add insult to injury, 59 percent of those surveyed said Trump should delete his Twitter account. And this was before he called Meryl Streep “over-rated.”

Rita Ciolli

Pencil Point

Political fitness

Pointing Out

At Schumer’s door

It hasn’t been a quiet welcome to the new job for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. As the politician with perhaps the most ability to directly oppose President-elect Donald Trump, how he should do it has been the subject of social media posts from all over the country, an office invasion in D.C., and — this week — protests closer to home.

Protesters tend to get permits to gather outside Schumer’s Manhattan offices as opposed to barging inside, according to an official close to the permitting process. Climate change advocacy group protesters followed that pattern, rallying outside his and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s offices on Monday, urging the senators to “Reject Donald Trump’s reckless climate denying Cabinet nominees.”

They later gathered outside Schumer’s Brooklyn apartment, according to the group. On Sunday, a different group of demonstrators made the same trek to his Prospect Park West home to encourage Schumer to “block Trump” and not cooperate with the incoming president. A separate demonstration outside his home is scheduled for tonight

Though Schumer can rally opposition to Cabinet nominees, he will be hard-pressed to do more than slow their confirmations barring extraordinary findings during hearings. Instead, Schumer tweeted an edited letter from Sen. Mitch McConnell which called for certain traditional disclosure requirements for nominees. The tweet went viral, but that’s the extent of Schumer opposition so far.

How activist groups react to Schumer’s strategy may be an indicator for the cohesion of the Democratic opposition. So far, few appear to be in any mood for compromise.

Mark Chiusano


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