Journalism and Essays

The New York Times

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Knows How to Fix Housing

Joe Biden will enter office facing a humanitarian catastrophe unlike any in modern times. Covid-19 is still ravaging the country and the economic fallout remains severe: On top of the lost jobs and closed businesses, an eviction crisis is looming.
The Guardian

This year proved once and for all: screens are no substitute for real life

How we will ultimately remember the pandemic of 2020 is not yet known. Right now, it is the omnipotent crisis, dominating every waking moment. For those with any interest in the news, there are the daily death totals, surpassing those of 9/11, and reminders that a vaccine is here but not here, still many months away from ending this hell for good.
Jacobin

With Biden in the White House, Will the American Media Go Back to Brunch?

What will the big media outlets of America do when Joe Biden is officially sworn in as president? For those on the Right, like Fox and Newsmax, there’s little question. Biden can be every bit the foil Barack Obama was, and right-wingers have new progressives to vilify, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
Gothamist

As COVID-19 Surges, Some Trader Joe’s Workers Say They're In A “State Of Terror”

As COVID-19 spikes again in New York City, employees of one of the area’s most popular grocery chains say they are increasingly afraid for their safety.
New York Daily News

How to use the power: What Democrats in the state Legislature should do with new majorities

The election just passed may have been a crushing one for Donald Trump, but it was very successful for Republicans in most state legislatures. Though Democrats saw themselves routed in state houses across America, New York was a lone and remarkable exception. The victory came into focus last week, after the absurdly slow tabulation of absentee ballots: In the state Senate, Democrats won enough seats to form a veto-proof supermajority, a historic achievement that would have been difficult to imagine even a few years ago.
Jacobin

Mayor David Dinkins Was Better Than Those Who Came After Him

The David Dinkins legacy has always been complex, ripe for revision and misunderstanding. New York City’s first and only black mayor, who died yesterday at the age of ninety-three, served for just a single term, from 1990 through 1993. It was a period of economic and racial tumult for the city, when just about anyone left of center was forced into a defensive crouch.
Jacobin

The Biden Campaign’s Decision Not To Knock on Doors Was a Huge Mistake

Several days after Democrats failed, despite everlasting hype, to win Texas in a presidential election, a top Democrat in the state had a stark message for liberals otherwise triumphant about Joe Biden’s overall victory: a lack of in-person canvassing cost Democrats dearly.
The Guardian

Big tech threw $200m at a ballot measure to hurt gig economy workers. And they won

One of the darker outcomes of 21st-century work life has been the predatory gig economy. Divorced from healthcare benefits and regular pay, millions of workers are told they are supposed to be lucky to drive passengers around in a car for ever-diminishing returns.
Jacobin

Chuck Schumer Is a Man Out of Time

Chuck Schumer knows how to raise money from rich people. It’s why, in part, he was able to claim a Senate seat in New York, outhustling a generation of rivals who may have possessed more talent, vision, and charisma.
Jacobin

The Left Needs the “Uneducated” Working Class

When Donald Trump first ran for president in 2016, he uttered a line that, to most journalists and liberal pundits, seemed bizarre and condescending. “We won the evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old,” Trump boasted during a victory speech in Nevada. “We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.”
Gothamist

CUNY Grapples With Devastating Budget Cuts: “People Are Freaking Out Or Getting Fired”

Six months after Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers approved a budget for the City University of New York, the country’s largest urban public university system is reeling from ongoing, indefinite cuts. Nearly 3,000 adjuncts have been laid off. Course offerings have been slashed, ballooning class sizes. Contingent staff that remain are having their hours cut mid-semester.
Jacobin

Defund the US Military and Rebuild the United States

There was a strange moment last month when Donald Trump, briefly departing from his usual conspiracy-mongering and idiocy, stumbled on an argument grounded in actual reality. The leaders of the Pentagon, Trump fumed, “want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”
The Baffler

Access Bobbywood

Every few years, Bob Woodward offers up a best seller and a news cycle. By now, the ritual is as reliable as a deadlocked Congress. Woodward, every J-School’s chief deity, upchucks a book with a bevy of interviews with powerful men and women, sometimes named, usually not. News outlets dutifully report on revelations from these interviews, often deemed “explosive” or “bombshells,” since analogies of death and destruction tend to be the best we have.
Jacobin

The Bipartisan Consensus in Defense of Israeli Occupation Will Not Hold

As Joe Biden and Donald Trump slog to the finish line, it is accurate to say that, in this deeply polarized time, there are profound political differences between them. On the economy, on taxes, on climate change, on health care — it does the Left no good to blur the lines between even mainstream Democrats and their Republican opponents.
Gothamist

Why Is This Billionaire Cuomo Donor Helping State Republicans?

In the middle of September, with State Senate Democrats heavily outspending Republicans in their quest to expand their majority, a billionaire entered the fray to help the beleaguered GOP. Ronald Lauder, the 76-year-old heir to the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, dropped $1.7 million into the operations of the new independent expenditure group called Safe Together New York, taking specific aim at six Senate Democratic candidates—four incumbents and two challengers.
Jacobin

Yes, the Biden Campaign Should Be Canvassing Voters Right Now

Last week, buried in a New York Times report on Joe Biden’s front-running yet listless campaign, was a brief account of nervous Democrats in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Biden’s limited presence had so unnerved Democratic leaders there that they had taken it upon themselves to go door-to-door distributing campaign signs, dropping off literature, and interacting with voters.
The Nation

Cuomo’s Choice: Tax the Rich or Starve the Schools

New York City is facing its most tumultuous school reopening in recent memory. The city’s Department of Education is the only major urban school system that is attempting to start the new school year with in-person learning, and the move will offer either a road map for districts everywhere or serve as a cautionary tale of what a city should not do. As of now, the DOE plans to reopen in-person instruction in staggered shifts, with the majority starting after September 29, delaying a start date from September 10 after pressure from concerned teachers and parents.
Jacobin

The Long-Term Dangers of Joe Biden’s Terrible Campaigning for President

In the sprawling New Yorker profile of Joe Biden that appeared earlier this month, an unnamed Barack Obama administration official dropped an assessment of the presidential campaign that will resonate with liberals everywhere: “This country needs to just chill the fuck out and have a boring President.”
Gothamist

How Can NYC Escape Its Worst Economic Crisis In Decades?

New York City is facing its worst economic crisis in 45 years. The unemployment rate stands at 20 percent and could rise higher in the months to come, as more small businesses and restaurants shutter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which killed more than 20,000 city residents and forced most public and private institutions to temporarily close. Tax revenue in the city and across the state is down significantly from a year ago.
The Guardian

Democrats spurn AOC and uplift Bill Clinton at the party's own risk

Though the traditional theater of the Democratic national convention is gone, the screaming delegates and balloon drops swapped for an endless procession of sleek videography, who speaks and for how long is still relevant to how the largest national party in America presents itself to voters. Embarrassed in 2016, the Democratic National Committee is trying once more to defeat Donald Trump and is proving, at least so far, it has learned nothing from its catastrophic failure.
GQ

Pete Hamill succumbed to the temptations of nostalgia. Millennials are unlikely to do the same.

There’s a natural feeling of loss when a person of certain renown dies. We didn’t know the man, but we remembered the era—or we read about it in books, heard of it from parents, peered backwards with the longing of those who can only imagine. The famous embody their time, their images and memories our own, joined to a collective consciousness.
The Nation

Cuomo’s Administration Faces Questioning Over Its Handling of Nursing Home Covid Deaths

New York state’s health commissioner struggled to answer a simple question during a legislative hearing last week: Why does New York have such a strange way of counting nursing home deaths from Covid-19?
The Guardian

US universities are charging full fees for 'virtual' class this fall. This is absurd

Colleges and universities are in an unprecedented bind. Coronavirus continues to rage in many parts of America, making the sort of communal gatherings that are hallmarks of collegiate life outright dangerous. Lecture halls, libraries, football games and dorm-room parties can all be superspreader events.
The Nation

How Did Police Unions Get So Powerful?

New York City’s liberal mayor, elected on a platform of overhauling a police department accused of deep-seated racism and corruption, had a seemingly obvious idea for reform: instituting civilian oversight of the police.
Gothamist

Cuomo’s Budget Strategy: A Long Game Of Chicken With Donald Trump

Since Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in April that New York State’s budget could be slashed by as much as $10 billion because of the pandemic, local governments across the state have been left to wonder how much money would be left over for public schools, transportation, roadways, and social services when the cutting is done.
The Guardian

New York faces an unprecedented crisis. Will the city I love survive Covid-19?

In the weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks, New York City began to slowly recompose itself. The crater at Ground Zero smoldered, a great hellish cloud in the sky, but life needed to come back, and it did. Children went back to school, parents to work and baseball, after a short hiatus, returned to thrumming stadiums. If uncertainty bled into dread – when would we be attacked again? – New Yorkers weren’t going to show it for long. There was a recession, but the recession passed, and the 2000s roared on. The young continued to flock to New York’s glittering promise.
Gothamist

Longtime Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel Faces Serious Progressive Primary Challenge

When Bronx State Senator Alessandra Biaggi endorsed her local congressman, Eliot Engel, for re-election last year, she argued that it wasn’t a good time to primary Democratic incumbents. “I believed the most important thing to do in 2020 was win the White House,” she said. “But the world has changed.”
The Guardian

A $1.1m hospital bill after surviving the coronavirus? That's America for you

After he nearly died from Covid-19, Michael Flor probably thought he couldn’t be shocked by much else. He had survived a battle with a deadly virus that had killed more than 100,000 people across America.
The Nation

This Law Keeps Police Misconduct Secret

When Derek Chauvin, a white Minneapolis police officer, knelt on the neck of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, for nearly nine minutes last month and killed him, the public quickly learned about Chauvin’s troubling disciplinary history. News reports revealed that at least 17 complaints had been leveled against Chauvin over almost two decades in the department.
The Appeal

No More ‘COPS’

On May 15, House Democrats passed a far-reaching $3 trillion stimulus bill aimed at rescuing the country from a looming economic depression. Senate Republicans shot the bill down, and Evan Hollander, communications director for the House Appropriations Committee, told me that “while we hope to begin negotiations soon, so far the White House and the Senate have been unwilling to negotiate.” The legislation included Democratic priorities in the age of COVID-19: significant aid to state and local governments, new funds for Medicare and Medicaid, and increased hazard pay for frontline healthcare workers.
The Nation

If Cuomo Cuts Funding, CUNY Layoffs Will Be a ‘Bloodbath’

In New York City, the global epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic, the shocking number of people killed has been accompanied by devastating economic fallout. More than 22,000 in New York State have likely died from the novel coronavirus. 
The Appeal

The Carceral Kings of New York

Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned of devastating cuts to New York’s budget if federal aid isn’t delivered to combat massive shortfalls in the state from COVID-19 deaths and shutdowns. Cuomo said that school budgets could be decimated, losing half of all funding.
The Nation

A Brief History of the Cuomo–de Blasio Feud

In early April, the Andrew Cuomo–Bill de Blasio feud—which most recently focused on the funding of the subways—reemerged in the news. The long-running cold war, ceaselessly psychoanalyzed by New York political insiders, burst into the open when de Blasio, the mayor of New York City, announced that public schools would remain closed through the school year to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
The Baffler

Go Down, Cuomo

Before Coronavirus rendered New York a Dystopia, September 11 was supposed to be the defining cataclysm of our lifetimes. The Boomers got JFK, and we got two planes obliterating the Twin Towers live on television.
GQ

Art Laffer's Trickle-Down Economics Would Be Disastrous for a Recovery

The name Art Laffer probably means little to most Americans. Children of the 1980s may remember the scene from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when the bespectacled economics teacher, played to perfection by Ben Stein, drones the name of an absentee Ferris Bueller before starting a hideously boring lecture on something called the Laffer Curve.
The Nation

New York’s Transit Workers Keep Getting Sick

For weeks, bus drivers in New York City begged their bosses for N95 masks to protect themselves against the spread of Covid-19. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, heeding the advice of the Centers for Disease Control, insisted they weren’t necessary, only to change course at the beginning of April.
The Guardian

The vacant Comfort hospital ship is a symbol of our coronavirus failure

The USNS comfort, the navy hospital ship deployed to New York City this week, was supposed to house 1,000 patients. Instead, it’s taken in only 20, refusing to accept New Yorkers suffering with coronavirus.
The Guardian

There is no greater illustration of corporate America’s moral decay than Amazon

On Monday, Amazon fired a warehouse worker who had been protesting about conditions at a New York City facility during the coronavirus outbreak. Chris Smalls, an assistant manager and organizer, had led a walkout demanding Amazon temporarily shut the facility for cleaning after multiple workers tested positive for Covid-19.
The Nation

Cuomo Helped Get New York Into This Mess

As the novel coronavirus rages in New York, killing more than a thousand and locking down millions, Governor Andrew Cuomo has emerged as the hero of the moment. On television, he is everything Donald Trump is not: calm, coherent, and blunt, in a strangely reassuring way.
Columbia Journalism Review

Glowing coverage of Cuomo also raises difficult questions

With more than twenty thousand conformed COVID-19 cases, New York is the American epicenter of the pandemic. The state is effectively locked down. And its governor, Andrew Cuomo, is a media star.
The Nation

If Sanitation Workers Don’t Work, Nothing Works

Douglas Washington knows people like him are standing between modern civilization and the abyss. “It’s been rough,” Washington said. “I’ve been in the industry almost 25 years and I’ve never witnessed—I don’t believe anybody has witnessed—anything like this.”
City & State New York

Cuomo only looks great between de Blasio and Trump

Gov. Andrew Cuomo “has emerged as the executive best suited for the coronavirus crisis,” wrote the New York Times’ Ben Smith, sharing a sentiment that has hardened among close watchers of New York politics.
The Nation

How to Canvass During a Pandemic

Rebecca Parson, like many progressive insurgents running for Congress, was hoping to ride a strong ground game to victory. Knocking on doors in Washington State’s 6th Congressional District, which ropes in most of the city of Tacoma, she was aiming to lay the groundwork to pull off an upset again Derek Kilmer, a centrist Democrat and deficit hawk.
Image of the bay

‘We Have No Nurses and No Isolation Room’

Bowing to overwhelming pressure from teachers, union leaders, and elected officials, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Sunday evening that he will be closing the city’s public schools, the largest school system in America.
The Baffler

The Gray Zone Lady

"The New York Times was a timeless blend of past and present, a medieval modern kingdom within a nation with its own private laws and values and with leaders who felt responsibility for the nation’s welfare but were less likely to lie than the nation’s statesman and generals," Gay Talese writes in The Kingdom and the Power, his 1969 account of the inner workings of the New York Times.
Columbia Journalism Review

How Bloomberg’s 60/40 strategy helps him deal with the press

I was a 22-year-old rookie reporter for a local newspaper in the outer boroughs, making a salary that today would not even be New York’s minimum wage. It was January 2012, the second to last year of Michael Bloomberg’s mayoralty, and I tentatively typed out an email to Bloomberg’s hard-charging press secretary.
New York Magazine Intelligencer

Could Andrew Yang and His Gang Make It in New York’s Mayoral Race?

When Andrew Yang, the peppy UBI evangelist, dropped out of the presidential race last Tuesday, he immediately stoked speculation he was ready to seek another prestigious office: mayor of New York City.
Jacobin

Michael Bloomberg Isn’t a Smug Technocratic Centrist. He’s Something Far Worse

In 2014, New York City quietly agreed to pay an $18 million settlement to the hundreds of people who had been ripped from the streets and locked away for peacefully protesting the Republican National Convention.
The Guardian

An oligarch has bought his way into the 2020 race. Why is no one talking about this?

With an estimated worth of $3bn, Donald Trump is just barely a member of the billionaires’ club. Michael Bloomberg, on the other hand, boasts a reported net worth of $60bn.
The Nation

Why American Socialism Failed—and How It Could Prevail Today

Income inequality was surging, a racist president was ruthlessly deporting immigrants, and the world was struggling to recover from a brutal war. The political scene, like America itself, was a deeply volatile, unpredictable place.
The Nation

Voter, Beware: Oppo Dump Season Is Upon Us

One day after CNN reported that Bernie Sanders allegedly told Elizabeth Warren, in a private meeting in 2018, that a woman could not defeat Donald Trump, a reporter from another TV network trumpeted a different Sanders scoop.
The Guardian

Trump has savaged the environment. The planet cannot afford a second term

What are the consequences of a second term of Donald Trump? To even consider the question sends the left-leaning mind into a paroxysm. Everything from nuclear war to the utter collapse of American democracy looms large in the imaginations of otherwise sober-minded people.
The Baffler

A Work in Progress

Last month, Chesa Boudin, a thirty-nine-year-old public defender, narrowly won an election to become the next district attorney of San Francisco. Boudin ran as a progressive outsider, promising to overhaul a criminal justice system that has locked up too many black and brown people.
The Guardian

The smartphone is our era's cigarette – and just as hard to quit

In the long lost year of 2011, I managed to graduate college without owning a smartphone. Even then, four years after the birth of the iPhone, I was not yet an unreasonable outlier.
The Guardian

Joe Biden's old-guy machismo is a serious flaw – but also what voters love about him

On Thursday, Joe Biden, the Democratic frontrunner for president, angrily confronted a voter in Iowa who didn’t like him very much. Biden deemed him a “damn liar” and “too old to vote for me” and maybe, just maybe, “fat”.
Gothamist

Mike Bloomberg's $ymbiotic Relationship With NY's GOP: 'We Agreed With Him On So Many Issues'

As Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, campaigns in the Democratic primary for president, he has been forced to account for his more conservative past.
Medium

The Fascism to Come

In 2016, not long after Donald Trump’s black swan victory, I wrote a column in the Daily News asking people to stop comparing the reality TV demagogue to Adolf Hitler. My argument was rather simple: Trump is abhorrent, but to liken him to a murderous Nazi minimized the horrors of the Holocaust, World War II, and 20th century fascism.
The Guardian

WeWork and Adam Neumann represent all that is wrong with the business world

You might have heard of Adam Neumann, the grifter mastermind behind WeWork, a failing real estate company that claims to be worth many billions. Neumann, like Mark Zuckerberg or Travis Kalanick, Uber’s founder, is another offspring of Silicon Valley’s slash and destroy culture, reaping great wealth off a startup that was either actively corrosive or merely unnecessary.
Gothamist

Free Mets Tickets For Hardened Criminals? Don't Believe The Hype

A run-of-the-mill supervised release program was transformed into a viral hit last week. “Gift cards, cell phones and Mets tickets: How NYC spends $12M enticing criminals back to court,” blared the New York Post headline of one of three stories written in the span of a few days about this three-year-old program.
The Baffler

God Help Me

This interview with Jarett Kobek is happening because of Twitter, which is deeply ironic if you’ve read any of his books. One of the keenest and more acidic writers of our era, Kobek built his reputation on ridiculing our capitulation to internet oligarchs.
The Daily Beast

Michael Bloomberg’s #MeToo 'Blind Spot’ Is One Reason Dems Aren’t Interested

If Michael Bloomberg actually runs for president, as he’s been threatening to do for over a decade, he will finally put to rest the feverish speculation of a pundit and media class desperate for another foul-mouthed billionaire to join the fray.
New York Daily News

In defense of raucous anti-NYPD protests: How radicals force social change

There has been a significant and predictable pushback against a recent anti-police brutality protest in our city. The furious march, which packed the streets of downtown Brooklyn the day after Halloween, drew condemnation from commentators on the right and left for its radical rhetoric.
The Guardian

Trump deserves to be jeered and mocked wherever he goes

On Saturday night, Donald Trump made another rare public foray, attending a UFC match in New York City. He was roundly booed, though not as aggressively or creatively as he was at a World Series game in Washington last month.
Gothamist

Industry City Moves Forward With Massive Rezoning Plan: 'They Want It Their Way Or The Highway'

The owners of Industry City, a sprawling retail and manufacturing hub on the Sunset Park waterfront, have decided to move forward on a controversial rezoning, despite skepticism from a local councilmember and fervent opposition from neighborhood activists.
The Guardian

Facebook pledged $1bn to help California's housing crisis. Can't they pay their taxes instead?

On Tuesday, Facebook announced it would contribute $1bn toward fixing California’s existential housing crisis. This is a seemingly large number that will buy, temporarily, some goodwill for the tech behemoth, which has wreaked havoc on democracies across the world and hoovered revenue from news organizations.
City & State New York

The WFP won. That’s why it could go extinct.

On a balmy night in September, Maurice Mitchell, the new national director of the Working Families Party, introduced a leading presidential contender to thousands of her delirious supporters.
The Guardian

He fetishized the military but the generals have had it with feckless, reckless Trump

Donald Trump, like all strongmen, fetishizes military might. He dreams of parading armies down the streets of Washington. He exalts men with weapons the way football fans deify their favorite quarterbacks.
The Guardian

Trump's treatment of the Dunn family was reality TV spectacle at its most heartless

When the grieving parents of Harry Dunn arrived from the UK at the White House, they never expected to meet Donald Trump. Their only hope was to get justice for their son, a British teen killed by a reckless American diplomatic wife driving a car.
The Nation

The Bronx May Send a Homophobic Democrat to Congress

The New York City congressional delegation is having a moment. Its newest member, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, became a movement leader before her 30th birthday. Hakeem Jeffries, a high-ranking Brooklyn Democrat, could someday replace Nancy Pelosi if he whips the votes together. Jerry Nadler and Eliot Engel, of Manhattan and the Bronx, chair two of the House’s most powerful committees, judiciary and foreign affairs.
The Baffler

The Vanishing

Donald Trump wants to get rid of homeless people. We have people living in our . . . best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings . . . where people in those buildings pay tremendous taxes, where they went to those locations because of the prestige,” Trump complained during a fundraising trip to California, where homelessness has skyrocketed over the last several years. 
Gothamist

Sunset Park Residents Clash With Menchaca On Industry City Rezoning

Sunset Park activists and neighborhood residents rallied on Monday to urge their local councilmember to reject a proposed rezoning of the Industry City waterfront complex, warning of rapid gentrification and widescale displacement if powerful real estate players get their way.
The Baffler

En Ef Fail

When Andrew Luck jogged off the field at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the final time, the Colts fans booed. Through their smartphones the news had arrived that their franchise quarterback, a former number one overall pick, was retiring from the NFL at the age of twenty-nine.
The Guardian

Pence's stay at Trump's Irish hotel shows corruption has become routine

The danger of the Donald Trump presidency lies in how he can make the morally and ethically repugnant seem routine. The outrages pile up – the shredding of environmental regulations, the enabling of white supremacists – and Americans, used to a new normal, shrug and go about their day.
Gothamist

Cuomo's Push To Ban Fusion Voting Could Violate State Constitution

Last week, the New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission held its first meeting. The commission has what should be a relatively straightforward task: making recommendations for a statewide system of publicly financed elections, similar to what already has been implemented for New York City campaigns.
New York Daily News

Call Lynch on his dare: What if cops actually slow work in the wake of Daniel Pantaleo’s firing?

Patrick Lynch, raving from your TV, is a New York institution. The president of Police Benevolent Association, with his slick helmet of hair, believes any attempt to criticize or discipline a police officer, no matter how heinous their actions may be, amounts to treason. No mayor can pass a PBA loyalty test because no mayor has yet found fit to worship Lynch like a god.
The Baffler

We Can’t Go on like This

The Mike Gravel presidential campaign, which shut down last week, will probably be remembered as a curiosity singular to the late 2010s, when American politics spun out of orbit for good, and the solemn, useless rules of the spectacle were discarded.
Gothamist

Queens Reformers Target District Leader Races As Next Step After AOC And Cabán

As a new generation of activists, electrified by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Tiffany Cabán, come of age, local lawmakers are already gearing up for 2020 primary challenges from the left.
Gothamist

Voters Rejected This Candidate For Judge. The Queens Machine Made Him A Judge Anyway

On the night of June 25th, the Queens County Democratic Party appeared to suffer not one, but two, grievous blows. Tiffany Cabán, the democratic socialist upstart, led Melinda Katz, the Queens borough president, by more than 1,100 votes in the historic primary for district attorney.
The Nation

What Tiffany Cabán’s Concession Means for Queens

After losing the Queens district attorney primary race in a recount by a minuscule margin, Tiffany Cabán delivered one of the more defiant concession speeches in recent memory. “Trust me, we terrified the Democratic establishment,” Cabán said Tuesday night in the backyard of a chic Astoria pub as she formally conceded the race to her top rival, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
The Nation

A Progressive Prosecutor Sets Her Sights on Upstate New York

In November, though, it will be an unlikely battleground in the ongoing movement to reform America’s criminal justice system: Republican Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley will face Shani Curry Mitchell, a Democrat who would be the second African American woman ever elected to a district attorney’s office in New York State.
The Nation

The Queens District Attorney Race Goes to Court

On Monday night, Melinda Katz waded into the same steamy bar in Forest Hills where, just a month ago, her political career appeared to be crashing to an end. “Welcome to election night two,” Katz, the Queens borough president, said from the stage, her blue-and-gold campaign signs pasted behind her. “We were having a difficult time in the papers. We weren’t sure if we won or lost.”
City & State New York

Hector Figueroa’s left legacy

The tragedy of Hector Figueroa’s untimely death will be felt in New York’s political firmament for years to come. Figueroa, who died of a heart attack on July 11th, was not just the president of a major labor union, 32BJ SEIU, and a power broker, whom various players in the political ecosystem hunted out for advice and favors. Union leaders come and go, and many are forgotten. Figueroa, however, stood apart because he harkened back to a radical labor tradition that has been all but lost today.
Gothamist

Queens DA Recount Requires Pricey Attorneys, But Katz Gets Hers For Free

As lawyers for Melinda Katz and Tiffany Cabán sift through the 91,000-odd ballots in the unprecedented, bitter recount for Queens district attorney, Katz has one built-in advantage: She is getting pro bono legal services from two attorneys connected with the Queens Democratic Party, under a loophole in campaign finance law.
The Nation

The Truth About the Queens DA Recount

On Tuesday afternoon, a newly emboldened Gregory Meeks stood outside the Queens Board of Elections, a coterie of politicians, activists, and hangers-on flanking him. He was there to rail against Tiffany Cabán’s campaign, to accuse her backers of trafficking in Trumpian falsehoods.
The Baffler

Exterminating Angels

When Kamala Harris spoke in front of the Commonwealth Club of California in the winter of 2010, the presidency wasn’t yet on her mind. Or, if it was—as it usually is for any ladder-climbing politician with a pulse and a dream—she wasn’t going to talk about it.
The Nation

Tiffany Cabán Just Made History

Tiffany Cabán, the 31-year-old public defender endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is on the verge of a stunning upset in a Queens district-attorney’s race that could dramatically impact the direction of criminal-justice reform in America.
Gothamist

Albany's Rent Reform Deal Shows Cuomo Is A Mere Mortal Now

At the climax of the 2019 legislative session, when New York’s rent laws hung in the balance, the two Democratic legislative leaders—the understated Assembly speaker, Carl Heastie, and the Senate majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins—came together to shut Andrew Cuomo entirely out of the room.
The Nation

Tiffany Cabán Just Might Pull This Off

Since she took office, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has doled out endorsements sparingly. The 29-year-old congresswoman, an unquestioned national force, has not attempted to play New York kingmaker like the man she defeated, Joe Crowley. Municipal politics has largely churned along without her.
The Guardian

Don't bother replacing Sarah Sanders – there's no point

The imminent resignation of Sarah Sanders as Donald Trump’s press secretary marks yet another departure from a White House that treats chaos as its modus operandi.
The Guardian

The Trump administration is waging a quiet war on education

Perhaps nothing illustrates the perverse nature of Donald Trump’s administration better than his approach to the regulatory state. In Trump’s America, those most zealously dedicated to unraveling federal oversight are in charge of the government, racing to shred laws as quickly as they can.
The Guardian

Why tariffs could be Trump's undoing

In the end, it was not the ceaseless lying, the Muslim ban, the alleged obstruction of justice, the pandering to white supremacists, the demonization of immigrants, or the climate change denialism that most outraged Donald Trump’s party.
The Baffler

American Sports and the Forever War

On Memorial Day, the Fresno Grizzlies, a minor league baseball team, played a video between games of a doubleheader. Various images flashed across the big screen: the Statue of Liberty, a space shuttle launch, the Constitution, and Donald Trump. Ronald Reagan’s first inaugural address was the soundtrack.
Gothamist

The Fierce Brooklyn Primary Election You Probably Haven't Heard About

here was a time when the Brooklyn Democratic machine hated few people more than it did Margarita López Torres. First elected as a civil court judge in 1992, López Torres clashed with the powerful Brooklyn Democratic Party boss, Clarence Norman Jr., when she refused to hire the politically connected staff Norman demanded she take on.
The Baffler

The Uber Presidency

On an overcast Friday in May, Uber began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The ride-hail behemoth’s stock was down slightly; it had been a rough morning with President Donald Trump waging a trade war against China.
Gothamist

Why De Blasio 2020 Makes So Many New Yorkers See Red

Among the people who cover politics, make their living through politics, or analyze politics like a never-ending NFL season, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s presidential bid is a laughable proposition.
The Nation

Progressive Prosecutors Clamor for Queens

On a warm day in early May, hundreds of people packed the Reform Temple of Forest Hills to mourn Richard Brown, the man who ran one of the largest district attorney’s offices in America for nearly 30 years.
The Guardian

Trump's labor department is giving the gig economy carte blanche

Two days before May Day, the Trump administration quietly punished the American worker. In a ruling lost in the din of the Mueller report and the 2020 inanity, Trump’s labor department determined that an unidentified company’s workers were contractors and not employees – a decision that could free tech behemoths everywhere to further exploit the people who help generate their titanic value.
New York Daily News

Inside jokes falling flat: End the White House Correspondents Dinner — and the Inner Circle and LCA while we’re at it

I first learned about the existence of the Inner Circle show in 2014, when I became a City Hall reporter. Many of my colleagues took part or were joining up.
The Nation

Meet the Grown-Ups Keeping Kids Out of Prison

ne Saturday morning 13 years ago, Darryl Thompson went to brush his teeth. The 15-year-old from the Bronx was with four other boys at Tryon, a notorious juvenile prison in upstate New York. The boys were not allowed to talk during their morning routine, but it was hard not to: For the last two days, they had been on lockdown, cut off from the outside world.
Gothamist

NY Progressives Want Real Change Fast? Forget It Jake, It's Albany

The new $175 billion state budget, in true Albany fashion, manages to both thrill and deeply frustrate. Approved just before the April 1st start of the fiscal year, it’s the first one Governor Andrew Cuomo ever had to negotiate with a fully Democratic legislature—a fact that boggles the mind, until you consider the warped gravity of a state capital Cuomo has bent to his will for so long.
The Baffler

Campaigning Ourselves to Death

“WELL I THINK he’s got a lot of hand movement, I’ve never seen so much hand movement,” the president of the United States said last month. “I said, is he crazy or is that just the way he acts? So I’ve never seen hand movement—I watched him a little while this morning doing I assume it was some kind of a news conference and I’ve actually never seen anything quite like it. Study it. I’m sure you’ll agree.”
The Guardian

Will Rachel Maddow face a reckoning over her Trump-Russia coverage?

The worst-kept secret in the liberal media ecosystem is that Donald Trump is great for business. Rebranded for the resistance, liberal newspapers gobbled up thousands of new subscribers while local outlets die across America, unable to feast on the Trump manna.
Columbia Journalism Review

Switching Sides

I ran for office in 2018 to win—to become a state senator and represent my district in a quiet pocket of Brooklyn. I did not run to make myself a better journalist or glean new insights into the craft I had practiced for most of my working life. 
Gothamist

Joe Crowley Is Gone, But The Queens Machine Chugs On

Joe Crowley, the congressman who lost in a stunning primary upset to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez last year, will step down from his role as chairman of the Queens Democratic Party, Queens Democrats confirmed Tuesday night.
New York Daily News

Cuomo stomps on the grassroots: A lobbying provision in his budget would stifle many of the small groups that delivered a Democratic majority to the state Legislature

These are thrilling times for New York progressives. Democrats control the state Senate for the first time in a decade and have already passed a raft of bills Republicans bottled up for years. More ambitious proposals, like a state Green New Deal and robust tenant laws that protect working-class residents, are finally on the table.
Gothamist

The Governor Formerly Known As Amazon Wakes Up To A New Political Reality

There might have been a moment on Thursday afternoon when Governor Andrew Cuomo wondered why he wanted this third term. For the first time in his eight years and one month as governor of one of the largest states in America, Andrew Cuomo did not get what he wanted.
The Guardian

Amazon's retreat from New York represents a turning point

Amazon was ready to impose its will on the largest city in America. The trillion dollar corporation had lined up the support of the mayor of New York City and the governor of New York, and began hiring the fleet of well-compensated lobbyists and strategists necessary to see its vision through.
The Guardian

Trump's latest cabinet pick: another profit-over-humanity Republican

Lost in the noise of another meaningless State of the Union address, Beto O’Rourke’s Oprah musings and the starting engines of an endless presidential race was the news that David Bernhardt might be getting a promotion.
Gothamist

Amazon's NYC Campus, Donald Trump's Rise, & NY's Prison Boom All Share A Common Ancestor

In 1968, shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the Republican governor of New York decided it was time to rescue the neighborhoods afflicted by crime and rot.
The Guardian

Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth

The government shutdown, now in its fourth miserable week, shows few signs of ending. Donald Trump, obsessed with curtailing immigration at all costs, wants money for a border wall House Democrats won’t give to him. Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate majority leader, has been content to do Trump’s bidding, twice blocking Democratic bills to reopen the government.
The Washington Post

It’s way too hard for working-class people to run for office

When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared last November that she didn’t have enough cash on hand to afford an apartment in Washington, her critics howled. Her communications director soon revealed that she had less than $7,000 in savings, provoking further scrutiny of the new progressive star.
The Guardian

Clean water: the latest casualty in Trump's attack on the environment

The cruelty and the idiocy of Donald Trump’s presidency does not chiefly lie in his tweets or even his words. Trump the performer is ridiculous, but that’s the clown show that keeps many of us either terrified or entertained – the real harm is elsewhere, away from the blaring headlines.
The Guardian

Racism has triumphed once again in Mississippi

“The past is never dead,” William Faulkner, the great American novelist, once wrote. “It’s not even past.” Faulkner’s home state of Mississippi, more than a half-century after his death, proved his point again on Tuesday night.
NBC News

General Motors, Sears and Toys R Us: Layoffs across America highlight our shredding financial safety net

Today’s aging workforce faces an uncertain future. The announcement this week that General Motors will lay off 15 percent of its salaried workforce and shutter multiple plants in North America was a sobering reminder of how far the American worker has fallen.
Gothamist

These Top NY Politicians Were For Amazon Before They Were Against It

On October 16th, 2017, an incredibly wide range of elected officials in New York City signed a letter to Jeff Bezos. The letter was simple, direct, and devoid of the legalese that typically accompanies such missives. They all wanted Bezos to bring his company, Amazon, to the five boroughs.
Gothamist

I Ran For State Senate In Brooklyn And Lost. Here's What I Learned

They don’t prepare you to give a concession speech. Outside of politics, what is the equivalent? You can’t find it in writing, journalism, or teaching—the fields I worked in before embarking on the wonderful, if exhausting, odyssey of running for office in New York City.
The New Yorker

Would You Like to Sit on My Bed with Me and Check Twitter?

I had such a nice time with you last night. That Vietnamese place hit the spot, and I loved how we had so much to talk about. It’s hard to meet good people these days and make a genuine connection, you know?
The Village Voice

The Most Powerful Democrat In Queens Must Finally Compete

In the summer of 1998, Tom Manton of Queens shocked the city’s insular political world by announcing his retirement from Congress. Manton, then 65, had petitioned to get on the ballot and showed all signs of wanting to run for another term.
The Village Voice

China Miéville’s History Of The Russian Revolution Offers Stark Lessons For Today

How do we remember the Russian Revolution? Infused with the noblest of intentions and ideas, it ultimately begat disaster. “We know where this is going,” writes China Miéville in his new study of the revolution, October. “Purges, gulags, starvation, mass murder.”
The Village Voice

The Queens Machine That Turns Foreclosures Into Cash

The three lawyers who run one of the largest Democratic organizations in America have more than one way to get rich.
New York Daily News

Three lawyers control Queens Democratic Party while one rakes millions from Surrogate’s Court wills

For 30 years, the same three men have effectively controlled one of the largest Democratic organizations in America.
The Village Voice

Claude McKay’s Long-Lost Novel Brings the Harlem Renaissance to Life

“I wonder if I understand you rightly,” the Ethiopian prince Lij Tekla Alamaya asks his American friend Gloria Kendall. “Slavery in the Bronx, New York, in the most highly civilized city in the world?”
The Village Voice

Preet Bharara Will Not Save Us

New York journalists always pine for heroes and villains. A Manichean universe is a convenient one: good guys do good, bad guys do bad, and to the white knight goes the boldest headlines.
New York Magazine Intelligencer

What Happens to New York’s Municipal ID Card Under the Trump Administration?

Surrounded by cheering activists and elected officials, de Blasio marked one of the early triumphs of his soon-to-be tumultuous tenure: bringing a municipal identification-card program to New York City.
The Village Voice

Blame Everyone, But Blame Democrats

Europeans have always regarded the United States of America with curiosity and awe. We’re the muscular, uncouth youngster never quite knowing our strength, a commander of the World Order with serious impulse control.
Columbia Journalism Review

Journalists too easily charmed by power, access, and creamy risotto

When Robert Moses, the notorious New York master builder, wanted to cow the journalists who covered him, he knew he didn’t have to harangue or threaten his way to a favorable story.
The Village Voice

Why Is a Huge ‘Progressive’ Union Supporting State Republicans?

In September of 2013, when it was clear Bill de Blasio was destined to become the mayor of New York and not a political footnote, there were two people ready to introduce him to the raucous crowd at his primary-night party.
Esquire

10 Years Ago, a Different Plane Hit a Different Manhattan Skyscraper

Ten years ago today, Cory Lidle died. If you aren't a diehard baseball fan, that sentence probably means nothing to you. Lidle was a pitcher like Jose Fernandez, the spectacular Miami Marlin who was killed in a boating accident last month, but his death has been long forgotten. 
The Village Voice

The Night of a Thousand Pointless Journalists

Covering a presidential debate can only sound glorious. You’re there, on the precipice of a world-historical moment, one of the chosen few with proximity to power. You get a swag bag and free lasagna and Pepsi from the food tent.
The New York Times

Transformation on Brooklyn’s Southern Shore

When Hurricane Sandy lashed the New York coastline and drowned neighborhoods like Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, there was some chatter about retreating from the waterfront.
The Village Voice

Why Are ‘Progressive’ Legislators Supporting GOP-Loving Obstructionists?

On Tuesday, some of the city’s most prominent Democratic politicians celebrated the State Senate victory of Marisol Alcantara, a former Bernie Sanders delegate. Alcantara, the only woman who competed in a four-way Manhattan primary, is set to become the Senate’s lone Latina. Her patron, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, joyously dubbed this “the year of the woman.”
The Village Voice

Goodbye, Anthony Weiner

There are still people who want to believe the best about Anthony Weiner. Some of them are in his old congressional district, where I now reside, and they’ll still tell you about the bantamweight fighter for the middle class hustling to get their potholes paved or their beachfronts freed of litter.
Esquire

Why I Kept Rooting for A-Rod

There is little in this world I hate more than self-righteousness. I get enough of it in journalism and politics, where faux outrage is often the price of admission. The high horse is fun to ride. Sneering and finger-pointing usually wins you the day, or at least a retweet.
The Village Voice

DNC’s Game of Footsie With the Powerful is Disgusting

Donald Trump may be the celebrity presidential candidate, but the Democrats are the party of the celebrity. Demi Lovato, Alicia Keys, Paul Simon, Sarah Silverman, and Lenny Kravitz are just some of the stars who spoke or performed at the convention this week in Philadelphia.
Reuters

There goes the party

Bill Clinton was supposed to be at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn to talk about his wife. But in the fashion of a former president who remembers what it’s like to be in a good dogfight, he couldn’t resist taking on her nettlesome rival.
The Village Voice

The Unnatural (and Possibly Doomed) Symbiosis Between Bills de Blasio and Bratton

Last month, shortly before the start of a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza, gunfire rang out. One man was killed and three others, including the rapper Troy Avenue, were wounded as more than a thousand panicked fans scattered at the Union Square music venue.
LA Review of Books

[Insert Penis Pun Here]: Anthony Weiner and the Great American Spectacle

LESS THAN A WEEK before a second sexting scandal ended Anthony Weiner’s political career for good, Howard Dean appeared at a tony Brooklyn bar to help fundraise for one of the former congressman’s rivals in New York City’s 2013 mayoral election.
The Village Voice

Night of the Long Knives: Or, Bill de Blasio Is Starting to Look a Lot Like Lunch

“A large check is a glorious thing, don’t you think?” Mayor Bill de Blasio asked at a recent press conference, standing near one of those Price Is Right–style gag checks. He was visiting a somnolent street in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, to remind the aggrieved middle-class homeowners here of the good work he’s getting done at City Hall.
The Village Voice

Our New Rich Daddy President Promises to Rid Us of ‘American Carnage’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the forgettable Little Rascals remake from 1994, Waldo, the film’s arch-prick, places a phone call from the racetrack. “Hi, Dad, it’s me. You’re gonna be so proud of me. I’m gonna win the race,” Waldo brags.
Observer

Berniemania! Why Is Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders So Popular?

Brattleboro, VT.—Of all the people buzzing at the start of the Strolling of the Heifers parade on a recent Saturday morning—the clowns, the teen stilt-walker, the theater kids in witch’s garb—the 73-year-old grandpa in khakis and Adidas sneakers did not seem like the most probable candidate for a selfie
Observer

Is Chuck Schumer the Right Man to Lead the Senate?

Harry Reid's anointed successor, Mr. Schumer has worked tirelessly behind (and in front of) the scenes. The story behind the Empire State's power broker.
Harvard Review Online

Sleet: Selected Stories

When Stig Dagerman shuttered his garage doors and left his car engine running, he was just thirty-one. But Dagerman, who has been dead now for six decades, left behind the oeuvre of a writer twice his age: four novels, several plays, poetry, and a work of singular journalism.