Ballots Too Crowded?

When I was a kid – way back when people actually told jokes about Communists – there was the one that went like this: “did you hear that the Soviets are holding a two-party election? The Communist Party and the victory party.” Well, here in New York state we not only we have two major…

Hillary for President (Pro Tempore of the Senate)

Why not? New Yorkers love her. So she’s probably looking at a life tenure. She is great at wonky stuff like legislative work. She can be partisan when necessary. She’d be third in line for the presidency of the United States. She’d have a measure of influence over committee assignments and confirmations of judicial and…

Technically, It’s Not Punishment

Months after charges were dropped against most of the (allegedly) unruly kids on their way to an (alleged) gangster’s funeral in Bushwick last May, the kids seem to be “disturbing the peace” again. This time they’ve created some discord between Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes and New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. Herbert said in his…

If You Bill Them They Won’t Come… Or Will They?

Have you checked out the new congestion pricing ad? It asks: “what if congestion pricing prepared us for [the] future and started reducing overcrowding now? What if every penny went to improve public transportation and create new bus and subway lines for all New Yorkers? What if congestion pricing meant less traffic, cleaner air and…

We Can’t Shut People Up to Keep Them From Lying

I voted for Obama. Mainly because I like the way he’s run his campaign better than the way Clinton has run hers. So, I was a bit disturbed to find the following email from the Obama campaign urging me to donate to it. It began this way: “News broke yesterday that a few wealthy Clinton…

Maybe Some Pegs Just Won’t Fit

We often try to address the complexities life throws at us by countering them with absolute moral clarity. I wonder if it isn’t better (and more moral) sometimes to adapt to the complexities instead. Ride it instead of fight it, like a wave? Here’s a case study: I have a friend who is a staunch…

Let’s Hope the Premium Caps Stay in Place

The idea of government mandated health insurance makes me uneasy. I’m willing to be taxed to support public health insurance (like public schools) or insurance assistance (like food stamps). But I don’t want to be forced to buy a service. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate still really in the race whose plan includes a…

Can the GOP Heart Huckabee?

Against all conventional wisdom, Mike Huckabee and his low budget, machine-free campaign just keeps on keepin’ on! He won’t be the nominee, of course. But he’s a very unusual kind of “spoiler” and a real object lesson for pundits on TV (and every lay person like me who “just plays one _not_ on TV”). I…

Tread Lightly, Hillary and Barack

With Mitt Romney out of the way, there are some interesting and frightening possibilities for Democrats. McCain, who I think we all knew was going to win anyway, has time now to start looking presidential and appealing to those segments of his party that doubt his credentials as a Reagan-channeler (you are all thinking it,…