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Bill de Blasio Wins the Lottery

By 3.4.14

There’s a familiar story of a man who has nothing, wins the lotto, and lives the same lavish lifestyle that he once criticized rich people for. Then, in just a few short years, he’s back in poverty, with only memories of good times.

Bill de Blasio won the lottery: a weak Republican opponent in an overwhelmingly liberal city that hadn't elected a Democrat mayor in two decades. There was fatigue over the Bloomberg and Giuliani years. Most New Yorkers couldn’t fathom a time when Times Square was littered with prostitutes, the Lower East Side with AIDS-infected heroin addicts, and Brooklyn with race riots.

De Blasio’s moderate Democrat opponents were seen as being too close to Bloomberg, and his more liberal opponents were mired in scandal: John Liu for his shady fundraising and Anthony Weiner for (insert your own joke here).

And so the people’s mayor was elected to right the injustices cast by evil Republicans over the last 20 years. Income inequality, police brutality, and Justin Bieber’s career would all be things of the past.

It appears, however, that his words were in vain.

The Most Incredible Story of Resilience Ever to Grace the Pages of the New York Times

By on 2.1.14 | 3:30PM

One day in the foreseeable future, high school students will no longer read Elie Wiesel's Night to learn of the incredible bounds of human resilience. They will instead read the memoir of Vanessa Csordas-Jenkins. They will read, and they will be inspired. Who is Vanessa Csordas-Jenkins, you might ask? Only the subject of the most harrowing story you will ever read in the New York Times. Csordas-Jenkins suffered indignities that no human being should ever have to suffer. And she did so with grace and dignity that only be described as vintage Csordas-Jenkins.

Our story begins with Ms. Csordas-Jenkins, a junior at NYU, relegated to slumming it in a dorm building because her plans to live off campus with friends in trendy Brooklyn fell through. That alone would be enough to stop most sane people in their tracks. But she soldiered on. Unfortunately, the dorm was too noisy for her liking because she "needs to be a healthy person." So she fled those inhumane conditions. It was the moral equivalent of fleeing the gulag.

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?

Another Perspective

Escape from New York

By 11.12.13

Here’s a joke for you: What is the difference between President Obama and New York City Mayor-Elect Bill de Blasio? One is a so-called progressive who plugs damaging and divisive policies in the name of a misguided sense of “fairness,” seeks to punish the successful through redistribution, wants to expand an already bloated welfare state, has unsavory friends, and is even rumored to be connected to communism. The other lives in the White House.

Dead Hipster Walking

By on 11.9.13 | 8:27AM

Last Tuesday's election was a good day for Republicans in New York State. Republicans retained control of bellwether Nassau, Rockland, and Westchester counties by sizeable margins, and won the mayor’s race in three notable cities: Glen Cove, Peekskill, and Binghamton. The Grand Old Party even took control of the Erie County legislature for the first time since 1977.  

Then there was the election in New York City.

Warren Wilhelm Jr., now known to the world as Bill de Blasio, won an election that, for all intents and purposes, he ran in unopposed. Republican Joe Lhota’s campaign wasn't poorly run as much as it wasn't run at all. In the end the largest voting bloc was apathy. Voter turnout was at it’s lowest in a half-century.

The down-ballot effect was devastating for the GOP. In 2009 Republicans were able to win five city council seats; this year they held onto just three. In the city council race I managed, voter turnout was at a record low, down nearly 30 percent from where it was in 2001, the last time we elected a new mayor.

Challenge to Manhattan’s Rent Control Laws Goes to Supreme Court

By on 12.21.11 | 12:49PM

A challenge to New York City's onerous rent control laws has been granted cert by the Supreme Court according to the New York Times. The plaintiff, James Harmon, a former lawyer in the Reagan adminisration and an alumnus of West Point, inherited the house from his grandparents, who worked long hours as a governess and a waiter to afford the home. Harmon argues that the rent stablization laws amount to the government taking his property without properly compensating him for it.

Harmon has taken to the Supreme Court because the lower courts, and even his assemblywoman, Linda B. Rosenthal, are fine with the current regime. Rosenthal herself is quoted in the Times sounding a bit like an Occupy Wall Street devotee:

Ms. Rosenthal said Mr. Harmon had asked for an exception to rent regulations for his building, which she found untenable because it would, she said, extend to thousands of other people in “the vanishing middle class.”