Why Cuomo Cares Where Buffalo Bills Play Football: Opening Line

We had a colleague here, Paul, who retired a couple years ago, and he loved the Buffalo Bills. They were his team. He even flew to San Francisco once just to see them play. The punchline is that Paul is a Brit who lives in Australia.

Lots of NFL fans will claim they live and die with their team. Bears fans, Raiders fans, Giants fans, fans of the Washington team, Cowboys fans, Eagles fans -- yeah, they’re all passionate. But they also live in Chicago or the Bay Area or New York or Washington or Dallas-Fort Worth or Philadelphia.

Bills fans live in...Buffalo. (Sorry, Buffalo.)

Which is why Andrew Cuomo is training all available guns on the issue of keeping the Bills in Buffalo, helping them build a new stadium and even helping them find a site for one as he prepares to run for re-election. Things are looking up in Buffalo for the first time in a while, following years of alleged neglect of the city from previous administrations in Albany, Freeman Klopott writes today.

“Voters in Buffalo are not listening to talk about corruption in Albany, or fracking, or public campaign-finance reform,” said Michael Caputo, the former campaign manager for Republican Carl Paladino, the Buffalo native who ran against Cuomo four years ago. “They’re listening to one thing, and one thing only, and that’s what’s going to happen to our Bills, and the governor sees it as an asset to his campaign.”

Sounds like a strategy.

***

A heavy data day. Japan’s first-quarter GDP grew an annualized 5.9 percent, and euro-area first-quarter GDP expanded 0.2 percent, half what economists forecast, we learned about an hour ago.

In the U.S., we’ll get Empire manufacturing, CPI and initial jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. New York time; TIC flow at 9 a.m.; industrial production and capacity utilization at 9:15 a.m.; Bloomberg Consumer Comfort at 9:45 a.m.; and Philly Fed, and the NAHB housing market index at 10 a.m.

Earnings today include Wal-Mart and Applied Materials. Hedge funds and other investment managers will file 13-Fs.

Today’s guests on Bloomberg Television include Wilbur Ross, John Chambers, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Carly Fiorina, Les Moonves and Michael Bloomberg.

***

Obama is still in New York today, so traffic alert. But more importantly, he’s there with the first lady to dedicate the National September 11 Memorial Museum. He’ll be joined by Mayor Bill de Blasio and de Blasio’s two predecessors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. The New York Times review of the museum as a museum is fairly glowing.

While we’re on the topic, the U.K. is advising its nationals to avoid or get out of Mombasa, Kenya, because of the threat of terrorist attacks.

***

Jill Abramson was let go as editor of the New York Times, but it doesn’t really matter (except to Abramson).

Journalism is just a commodity now, available for free on the Internet and in as many flavors as anyone could want. Too liberal? Have some Breitbart. Too conservative? Try DailyKos. Nor is the Grey Lady quite what she was in the latter half of the 20th century.

Also, everyone’s a journalist now. All of you. You all have the job down cold, based on the withering comments we receive daily and those letters to editors everywhere from doctors, lawyers, plumbers, teachers, truck drivers and librarians who use journalists’ failures to back their positions to prove their expertise.

So does it matter whose vision you’re reading these days, if it’s not yours?

The New York Times is like the Queen Mary. So enormous and so replete with capable crew that steering it probably doesn’t require much. By the time a particularly ticklish story lands on the executive editor’s desk, it’s already been through a gauntlet of seasoned, capable editors on its way upstairs and is probably already news that’s fit to print.

The paper’s not infallible. It will get stuff wrong now and then. We all do.

It’s got a liberal slant. Journalism is an emotional sport, and when you’re the most important newspaper in the country, you have an obligation to “remember the neediest.” Noblesse oblige. Journalists are naturally disposed to fighting for the downtrodden, and the Times does that.

Nothing’s going to change much. It’s not like Dean Baquet is going to start running Funky Winkerbean. It’s the New York Times. It will continue as it has, producing as incredibly well reported and air-tight stories under Baquet as it did under Abramson, and Bill Keller before her and Howell Raines before him and stretching back to Scotty Reston. Then it will try to get you to pay for it.

So, back to work everyone. No news here.

***

Carl Levin is going to take a shot at stemming the flow of companies exiting the U.S. tax structure, the so-called corporate inversions, so named perhaps because they invert the concept of respecting your country by paying the taxes it says you owe whether you like it or not.

He says his bill will take on the foreign-ownership threshold, currently at 20 percent and targeted by Obama for a minimum of 50 percent. As the story explains, his bill probably won’t go far. Republicans don’t want to take this on until there’s a complete overhaul of the U.S. tax code.

Why not do both? Fix this problem now, keep it fixed when the rest of the work comes.

***

That survey of you finance pros that ConvergEx conducted in the U.S. last month regarding your views of high-frequency trading has been repeated in Europe, and they have responded with a Gallic shrug.

Forty-two percent of European financial-industry participants say equity markets aren’t fair, compared with 70 percent here. Thirty-nine percent of Europeans consider HFT to be harmful, compared with 51 percent in the U.S.

It’s worth noting the European survey had 131 participants, while the U.S. version had 357. Both have a margin of error of 10 percent, meaning the not-fair question could really be 52 percent compared with 60 percent or 32 percent compared with 80 percent.

What we don’t know is if Michael Lewis has promoted ‘Flash Boys’ on TV there yet. He has a way of charming people.

***

Today is ‘Tom Wheeler Makes New Enemies Day’ in Washington,

where the FCC chairman will go ahead with a preliminary vote on revised rules for Internet oversight that are guaranteed to inflame at least one constituency in the debate -- that is, if he can even get it by the two fellow commissioners from his own party.

The revised rules allow for programming companies -- Netflix, Amazon.com -- to pay Internet service providers -- Comcast, Verizon -- for the fastest transmission speeds, and Wheeler’s fellow Democrats on the FCC haven’t given that route any support.

Not that that’s troubling Comcast’s David Cohen. As he told analysts yesterday at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit, “Whatever it is, we’re allowed to do it.”

Anyway, pass today’s version and Wheeler’s won the enmity of Google, Facebook, and, just based on anecdotal evidence, the entire general public, who like things the way they are. This would make the rules’ public-comment period pretty interesting.

Pass a stricter version preserving neutrality even more assiduously, based on the FCC’s authority to regulate telephone companies, and he falls into the Republican woodchipper.

Good luck, Mr. Wheeler.

***

We thought we’d finally caught David Papadopoulos with a spurious argument.

Heading into Saturday’s second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, our part-time race handicapper/full-time deputy managing editor for emerging markets offers three reasons why Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness favorite California Chrome could get beat. One of them is the layover time between races.

So? Every horse is facing the same obstacle.

Wrong. Only two other horses from the Derby will be in the Preakness. In the entire 10-horse field, the others will be much more rested. And since Affirmed became the last horse to win all three races, in 1978, the nature of the beasts has changed.

Like pitchers in professional baseball, horses are pampered and protected more. These days they’re bred more selectively for the things that win races -- speed, “precociousness,” Papadopoulos says -- and not necessarily the things that make them strong and sturdy horses.

Papadopoulos says Art Sherman, the 77-year-old trainer of California Chrome, told him it takes 11 days for a horse’s blood to return to normal characteristics after a race, whatever those characteristics are. Two weeks is cutting it close.

So, as usual, Papadopoulos knows best.

There’s another fast horse in the race, Social Inclusion (more about him tomorrow), the second threat to California Chrome. Lastly, there’s the fact that Chrome will have a giant target on his neck. The other jockeys will be “race riding,” a track term for doing whatever they can to make sure he doesn’t win, or at least not easily.

Chrome drew the No. 3 post position last night, which is closer to the rail than Sherman would probably like, although co-owner Steve Coburn doesn’t seem to mind it. Chrome stands a good chance of finding himself in a “jackpot” situation, another bit of lingo that means the horse is boxed in by other horses and has to fight his way clear of the field to run.

One thing that is certain, Papadopoulos says: At odds of 2-5 or 3-5, Chrome is not the horse to bet.

***

The Montreal Canadiens finished off the Boston Bruins in the seventh and deciding game of last night’s conference semifinal by a score of 3-1, and this is pretty much a shock to us. Going into the NHL playoffs, we figured Boston was a lock for the Stanley Cup, based on their league-leading season.

So now we get an Eastern Conference final of two so-called Original Six teams, and we look forward to the history overkill that will no doubt come in the broadcasts -- grainy black-and-white footage of Toe Blake, or something. The Habs have the home ice and will take to it for Game 1 against the New York Rangers on Saturday night. Looking forward to this series, you bet.

In the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Kings are back from the brink, forcing a seventh game last night with a 2-1 win over Anaheim. Game 7 is tomorrow night in Anaheim.

***

Brooklyn couldn’t keep the NBA side of New York’s playoffs alive, losing 96-94 last night to Miami in the fifth game of the Eastern Conference semifinal. LeBron James scored 29, Dwayne Wade scored 28, and the Heat just had the extra gear. Miami awaits the winner of the Washington-Indiana series, Game 6 of which is tonight in Washington, with the Pacers ahead 3-2.

In the West, San Antonio wrapped up its series against Portland, breezing in the game 104-82 and in the series, which it won 4-1.

***

Not a good start for Phil Jackson. Steve Kerr, the guy Jackson wanted for the Knicks job, a guy Jackson coached in Chicago’s 1990s NBA dynasty era, for Pete’s sake, took the job at Golden State instead. We’d love to know the backstory. Because you know there is one. It’s not because Kerr lives in California.