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Three Primary Races to Watch Tomorrow

By on 6.23.14 | 5:09PM

As summer rages on, races for seats all across the country are heating up. Tomorrow, as with most Tuesdays over the past few months, there will be another round of primaries, this time in seven states: Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, and Utah, along with a special election in Florida’s Nineteenth Congressional District. While many of these elections are non-stories because of unlikely challengers or major spreads in the polls, three are standing out.

Mississippi Senate

Congressman Michael Grimm Charged with Tax Evasion

By on 4.30.14 | 11:06AM

Yesterday morning, Republican Congressman Michael "I'll break you in half" Grimm was arrested by the FBI after not turning himself in. 

The twenty charges of tax evasion and fraud relate to Grimm's alleged activity during the operation of his New York City restaurant, "Healthalicious," which seems still to be operating at its location on Second Avenue between 82nd and 83rd streets in Manhattan. 

Although the FBI has also been investigating campaign finance violations -- and those charges may yet be brought -- today's indictment was not about those issues.

During a press conference unsealing the indictment, the prosecutors bringing the charges and the investigators made much of Grimm's particular breach of trust given his position: "Representative Grimm violated (the public trust) time and time again."  

Live From New York

New York: Right From the Beginning

By 1.31.14

In the wake of Governor Andrew Cuomo's statement that “extreme conservatives” have no place in New York State because “that’s not what New York is about,” Mayor Bill De Blasio quickly agreed.

But Cuomo and de Blasio are not only proving their own prejudice, but also their ignorance of history. New York State and New York City have been home to some of the most extreme, misfit, rebellious, groundbreaking, status quo-shaking right-wingers in American history. 

Libertarianism owes as much to New York City as it does to the rugged individualism that came out of the West. Ayn Rand, the mother of objectivism, moved to New York City in 1926. She wrote both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in New York. She lived here and died here.

Another notable New York libertarian is the father of Austrian economics Ludwig Von Mises. It was in New York that he wrote his landmark work Human Action. Murray Rothbard and Milton Friedman, two other economists whose opinions and theories totally reject the tax-and-borrow policies of Cuomo and de Blasio, are products of New York.

Cuomo To Conservatives: Drop Dead

By on 1.20.14 | 7:17PM

Well, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has really outdone himself. The presumed 2016 Democratic Party presidential contender is already preparing for a run for higher office by envisioning ideological purges. Speaking on a radio program last Friday, he made the claim that "extreme conservative" views are not welcome in the Empire State. Of members of the Republican Party, he asked, “Who are they? Are they these extreme conservative, right to life, pro assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York.” Leaving aside Cuomo's questionable idea that he is the one who should define what it means to be conservative, his statement is troubling. His supporters point out that in full context, he is only speaking of Republicans who seek state office. But shouldn't the character of political representation be determined by the will of the voters, and not by career politicians who think they know better?

The ‘Trickle-Down’ Lie

By on 1.7.14 | 4:00AM

New York's new mayor, Bill de Blasio, in his inaugural speech, denounced people "on the far right" who "continue to preach the virtue of trickle-down economics." According to Mayor de Blasio, "They believe that the way to move forward is to give more to the most fortunate, and that somehow the benefits will work their way down to everyone else."

If there is ever a contest for the biggest lie in politics, this one should be a top contender.

While there have been all too many lies told in politics, most have some little tiny fraction of truth in them, to make them seem plausible. But the "trickle-down" lie is 100 percent lie.

It should win the contest both because of its purity -- no contaminating speck of truth -- and because of how many people have repeated it over the years, without any evidence being asked for or given.

Hinchey to retire

By on 1.18.12 | 1:30PM

Every so often, we lose a politician who stood apart from the typical political careerists.

Someone who took bold stands against the fashions of the times.

Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., is not among that elite few. So let's be glad to see his announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2012. For examples on why...

Here's Hinchey telling a reporter to "shut up" when asked about the conflict of interest resulting from his ownership stake in a project receiving federal funding:

He later claimed he "didn't tell the reporter to shut up."

And here's Hinchey rambling about his deficit reduction priorities -- without actually seeming to know what it means to reduce the deficit: