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Democrats in rebellion against Cuomo’s nursing-home coverup

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Democrats in rebellion against Cuomo's nursing-home coverup

As the wheels are coming off of the Cuomo administration’s COVID coverup machine, fed-up Democratic lawmakers are joining their GOP colleagues in looking to hold Gov. Cuomo accountable.

On Friday, 14 Democratic state senators demanded the revocation of Cuomo’s emergency powers, while their GOP colleagues called for a special session to immediately strip him of those broad emergency powers. Both sides of the aisle look to be of one accord: Enough is enough.

“While the executive’s authority to issue directives is due to expire on April 30, we urge the Senate to advance and adopt repeal as expeditiously as possible,” wrote the Gang of 14. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said of the now-admitted Team Cuomo coverup, “Crucial information should never be withheld from entities that are empowered to pursue oversight.”

Earlier in the week, the state Senate Health Committee moved several bills to increase accountability and oversight of New York’s nursing-home industry. Until now, despite 15,000 care-home COVID deaths, Democrats had held off from calling out the failures of Cuomo and Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker.

State Attorney General Letitia James’ scathing report on Team Cuomo’s actions was one key step toward the rebellion. Then top Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa’s confession of the long coverup broke the dam; one Democratic lawmaker said of the DeRosa conference call, “The wheels are starting to fall off.”

Democratic lawmakers shouldn’t buy Team Cuomo’s claim that fears of a federal probe by the Trump Justice Department were the reason for withholding damning info. As Bill Hammond writes for The Post, Zucker started hiding the truth months earlier.

Democratic and Republican legislators have been on separate tracks when it comes to probing this scandal, with GOP lawmakers howling and Dems reluctant to call out “their” governor. Democrats even thwarted Republican efforts to subpoena top Cuomo officials. State Sen. James Skoufis, chair of the Senate Investigations Committee, even muted the mic of his GOP colleague Tom O’Mara to quash a subpoena motion.

The virus kills Democrats, Republicans and independents without discrimination. This issue demands a nonpartisan approach, with no regard for damage control for the governor and his legislative allies.

Assemblyman Ron Kim (D-Queens), who lost an uncle to the virus, has sought bipartisan support for his measure creating a nonpartisan commission to investigate the nursing-home fiasco and to hold the Cuomo administration accountable. That measure is a start — and it looks like Kim’s Democratic colleagues are warming to the idea.

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Opinion

Biden rejects common-sense center on everything from schools to border

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Biden rejects common-sense center on everything from schools to border

It’s truly astonishing how much President Biden in his first weeks has opted to side with his party’s left wing and its special interests — and against even moderate Americans’ desires.

It’s most obvious in his Mexican-border madness: President Donald Trump worked out perfectly reasonable, humane policies that stemmed the record-breaking, Obama-era surges of migrants at the border. Yet Biden has needlessly moved to kill Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” deal and other agreements with Central American nations that were clearly working. Instead, he set up a temporary freeze on deportations and is talking up plans to offer a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants.

All of which has encouraged Central American migrants to rush for the US border: Already, the number of children who cross over this year is on pace to break the all-time record by 45 percent. And he’s had to resort to the notorious “cages” to detain kids who crossed without their families, and it’s only going to get worse as summer hits.

Meanwhile, his end to deportations is also prompting a return to “catch and release” — posing a public-health hazard: More than 100 illegal border-crossers released last week had tested positive for the coronavirus, yet still got sprung. And that’s only one of the ways this policy slams border towns.

None of this is common sense: 55 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden’s curb on deportations, and only far-lefties are happy to see the border surge resume.

And even as he embraces open borders, he’s passively letting schools stay closed. Abandoning his pledges to get most open in his first 100 days, he’s now pretending that it can’t be done without vast new federal spending contained in his “relief” bill — even though the nation’s schools have billions left from last year’s relief measures, and his proposed outlays are mainly for years in the future.

The science clearly shows that reopening poses no real health risk to students or adult staff, but the president just refuses to say a word of criticism of the teachers unions (and the politicians they control), which are without question the real barrier to reopening. That’s why US parochial and private schools, and public schools in areas of low union power, opened up weeks ago.

He’s also gone extreme-green on energy policy. Though most Americans support moderate efforts to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, that doesn’t cover his multi-trillion-dollar plans to decarbonize the entire country. With one action alone, killing the Keystone XL pipeline, he killed thousands of good US jobs and slapped America’s good friend, Canada — while actually harming the environment, since the Canadians will simply ship their oil by rail and truck (meaning more pollution and greater risk of spills) to consumers who will still burn it, probably in dirtier plants than the ones here.

Then there’s his culture-war nonsense, such as his order mandating that biological males be allowed to compete in sports with girls — another policy a majority of Americans disapprove of, according to a Harvard University and Harris Insights and Analytics poll.

He’s so reluctant to defy the hard left that he played along with the nutty drive to cancel Dr. Seuss, Theodor Seuss Geisel, dropping all mention of the beloved author in his Read Across America Day proclamation. Never mind that the day comes on March 2 because that’s Seuss’ birthday, nor that then-President Barack Obama and his wife as recently as 2015 highlighted Seuss’ work to interns and kids. “Pretty much all the stuff you need to know is in Dr. Seuss,” Obama said. Heck, now-Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted Seuss a happy birthday wish in 2017.

But the ravenous left wants Seuss’ scalp, and Biden obliged in canceling an author who’s showed countless millions that reading is fun.

Whether he fears the power of the left, or has no real idea how extreme his administration is proving, the president is rejecting the sensible center across the board. He’s not only being foolish, he’s doing the exact opposite of his inaugural vow to unify the nation.

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Opinion

Take away de Blasio’s emergency COVID powers, too

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Take away de Blasio's emergency COVID powers, too

Hand it to city Comptroller Scott Stringer for catching out Mayor de Blasio in a bit of rank hypocrisy, by demanding he live up to his own stated principles on the need to end pandemic-emergency powers.

De Blasio this month joined the chorus calling for the end of Gov. Cuomo’s special COVID executive power. (And indeed the Legislature on Friday moved to cut it back.)

But when Stringer this week called for the mayor to yield up his own extraordinary pandemic powers, de Blasio declined. A mayoral spokesman said Stringer, a candidate to succeed de Blasio, was letting “mayoral ambitions” interfere with pandemic response.

Interfere how?

Ambitious Stringer may be, but he’s simply looking to do his day job here: The City Charter gives the comptroller the power to review most proposed city contracts, approving and registering them as appropriate. But de Blasio one year ago seized emergency authority to skip that step so he could rapidly buy protective gear, set up a contact-tracing system and so on.

That was reasonable at the time — but the mayor hasn’t let go, even though no dire needs remain. This was Stringer’s third attempt to get back to normal; he flagged de Blasio’s repeated “overextending, overpaying and over-purchasing” last August and again in October.

Stringer rightly says the mayor is using the pandemic as “a shield to circumvent the independent oversight enshrined in longstanding statutes and rules” — and wasting millions along the way.

In the past year, the mayor spent $5.2 billion on 1,238 pandemic contracts, many with questionable sources and some that went bad, such as a $91 million deal with a de Blasio donor who never delivered the promised N95 masks or ventilators.

Mind you, this mayor has a long track record of doing favors that help his donors but harm the city, such as the notorious Rivington Street flip. Absent last spring’s extreme circumstances, he has no excuse for dodging Stringer’s oversight.

Let him get through his final nine months in office with as few powers to sell out the public interest as possible.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — March 7, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — March 7, 2021

Blocking charters
In September 1957, Arkansas Democratic Gov. Orval Faubus used that state’s National Guard to prevent black children from attending the school to which they were entitled (“Lift the Charter Cap Now,” Editorial, March 3).

Now, over 60 years later, The Post is asking that the number of charter schools in New York state be increased. These are schools to which thousands of black children seek entry.

If the Legislature fails to lift the cap, black children will be blocked from getting the quality education they and their parents desire and deserve.

We need our elected representatives to stand strong for children. The educations of black children matter.

Anthony Daddiego
Flushing

Give kids choice
Josh Hammer’s insight into the codified racism of the American affirmative-action admissions case that is now before the Supreme Court helps direct us to the root cause of education disparity (“End real racism,” PostOpinion, Feb. 27).

It’s not the color of one’s skin, but one’s ZIP code and opportunity (or lack thereof) for school choice that determines readiness for college.

Parochial, charter and selection schools generally and noticeable outperform inner-city public schools (and cost less per student).

Give inner-city kids a choice, too. Let the tax dollars spent on the student go to their choice of schools with a voucher to a charter, parochial or other school when they meet the criteria.

Competition raises standards of living and will raise performance of public schools as well.

Deirdre Harvey
Valley Stream

School hypocrite
Kudos to California teachers-union head Matt Meyer for having the chutzpah not to resign after being revealed as a hypocrite for blocking students from “unsafe” public schools while his child attends private school (“Union chief’s open-school nix — except for his kid,” March 2).

One has to wonder if this self-serving duplicitous behavior is occurring in other liberal cities, where politicians and power-brokers shut down public schools and then immunize their own children from the toxic effects of their actions.

David Charak
Boca Raton, Fla.

Stop horse abuse
As a resident of the Upper West Side and an animal lover, my heart breaks when I see carriage horses being driven through traffic every day (“Carriage horse had genetic disease: vet,” March 1).

When I read about the horses crashing into vehicles, running wildly through traffic, collapsing on the street and sometimes dropping dead, I get angry that this still goes on in my city.

Lee Brown’s article about carriage horse Aysha’s autopsy results reinforced what was already obvious: Sick, suffering horses are being forced into hard labor, and as a New Yorker, I want it to end.

I call on my City Council ember, Helen Rosenthal, and Mayor de Blasio to stop the abuse of these horses.

Kiera Canciani
Manhattan

Alzheimer’s hope
My sincere thanks to Rich Lowry in sharing his love and affection for his mom (“My Mother, Unbowed,” PostOpinion, March 3).

Lowry shared the heavy hearts of families who have endured or are enduring the ravages of Alzheimer’s. He brought such dignity to such tragedy in a truly humane manner.

His uplifting story can be shared by many, regardless of their suffering. Hope springs eternal, and true love can never be broken.

Thomas Corr
Smithtown

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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