The Myth of the Smug Liberal

  In the dawn of the Trump era, there is no stereotype more lazily deployed than the condescending coastal liberal who lives in his own bubble. The most irritating media trope to emerge in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election is the idea that it was a rebuke to “condescending” liberals who live in our own “bubbles.” Steve Schmidt gave us a preview on MSNBC even before the race for the White House was decided. “The people who are for Trump are not embarrassed to be for Trump. This is a fiction of New York City,” the former Republican political Read More

How Hillary Survived a Gauntlet of Saboteurs and Scoundrels

The universe seemed to conspire against a successful Democratic National Convention. But now Clinton is off and running. (written with Jack Hitt) Who says she can’t bring us all together? Hillary Clinton, in the middle of her glass-shattering ascent, found herself besieged on all sides as a cast of Batman-style villains from literally around the world sought to sabotage her convention. Donald Trump, Julian Assange, Susan Sarandon, Nina Turner, Vladimir Putin, and Dr. Jill Stein—political bedfellows don’t get any odder than this. The most infamous moment, of course, was Trump pleading with Vlad the Eavesdropper to further aid his ratfucking Read More

Note to Donald Trump: You’re On Fire, Stupid

The Republican National Convention could not have been a bigger disaster. (written with Jack Hitt) For a moment there, it looked like he was going to pull it out one more time. Donald J. Trump, as he likes to call himself, got as beautiful a set-up as any presidential candidate ever has in the modern political era, a stunningly well-made video and an even more stunning and surprising introduction from Ivanka Trump, his Valkyrie-daughter, who managed to show real warmth and presence in doing what seemed impossible: humanizing her tough-talking dad as a concrete-covered marshmallow. The moment was primed for Read More

Never Forget the Triangle Factory Fire–It’s Why We Have Unions

They started coming out the windows at a quarter to five on a bright, sunny spring afternoon. Large bundles of fabric, tossed from a ninth-story window in New York’s Greenwich Village. There was the sound of a muffled explosion and breaking glass, and the smell of smoke. Then the dark dress goods falling and landing with a heavy thud on the paving stones below. “He’s trying to save the best cloth,” one observer said knowingly, sure he was watching a garment factory owner trying to salvage his stock. Then someone noticed they weren’t bundles of cloth at all, but young Read More

DeBlasio Wants to Strike Fear in the Hearts of New York’s Reckless Drivers

The physical landscape of New York can be read as an answer to a seemingly straightforward question: How do we get anyplace without killing each other? For well over a century, that dilemma has reconfigured this dense, jostled city. To separate people and vehicles, New York has sodded parks, installed playgrounds, positioned planters and pedestrian bridges; lifted highways, buried trains, and covered an elevated roadway that runs around a train station, at Grand Central Terminal. Yet each year cars and trucks still kill hundreds of New Yorkers and maim untold others. The concern endures. How can we keep people safe Read More

Sheldon Silver’s Biggest Sin Was What He Did to His Own Neighborhood

So they hauled Sheldon Silver away in handcuffs last month. The longtime Democratic Speaker of the New York State Assembly, quietly one of the most powerful men in one of the country’s most powerful states, has been charged with crimes that were stunning even in the standing sewer of corruption that is the legislature he presided over. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara froze some $4 million in assets belonging to Silver—but that still left Shelly, who Aaron Naparstek, the liberal political advocate (and recently unmasked author of the Fake Sheldon Silver Twitter parody feed) called “a walking human filibuster,” with another $3.4 million in leftover campaign money with which to Read More