from The Great Debate:

Why do New York politicians hate small business?

By Grover G. Norquist and Patrick Gleason
December 17, 2013

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed a commission to figure out how to make the Empire State more business-friendly and change its reputation for high taxes. The New York state government is now running commercials on national television touting the tax breaks that businesses can get by relocating there. "Small Business Saturday" -- the annual post-Thanksgiving event encouraging folks to patronize small businesses -- was heavily promoted in nearly every media outlet.

from The Great Debate:

The election results no one’s talking about

By Michelle Diggles
November 12, 2013

Which is the most important result of Tuesday’s election?

A. A Republican governor won a landslide election in a blue state.

B. A Democrat was elected governor in a purple state during intense criticism of a new federal government program.

from The Great Debate:

How to build on the Bloomberg legacy

By Ester R. Fuchs
October 30, 2013

New York City is engaged in a highly contentious general election campaign for mayor. One of the fascinating turns in this race is how both candidates have chosen to distance themselves from the city’s current mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Bill de Blasio, the Democratic party candidate, has articulated a progressive agenda that might sound to some New Yorkers like 1960s liberalism. Echoing John Lindsay’s aspirational New York, de Blasio argues that the city must refocus public policy in support of the American Dream. Government continues to be important in de Blasio’s New York, but it must change its focus from supporting the wealthy to doing more for its poor and middle-class population.

from The Edgy Optimist:

A mayor is only as good as his city

By Zachary Karabell
October 25, 2013

The New York City mayoral race is entering its final days, and it seems all but certain that Bill de Blasio will be the new master of City Hall. That’s prompted anxiety among some in New York, best encapsulated by an ad run by Republican challenger Joseph Lhota warning that the city would revert to a 1970s crime-ridden cesspit if de Blasio is elected.

from The Great Debate:

Bill de Blasio, the Not-Bloomberg

By Joyce Purnick
September 11, 2013

Bill de Blasio, whose strong support in New York City’s Democratic primary for mayor may have averted any runoff, had a secret weapon -- and I speak not of his delightful Afro’d son, Dante, but of the very man he wants to succeed, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

from The Great Debate:

Building trust between police and minority communities

By Joseph D. McNamara
August 16, 2013

A federal judge ruled Monday that the stop-and-frisk policies of the New York City Police Department were unconstitutional. That same day, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department will pull back from prosecuting low-level drug offenders to avoid triggering harsh mandatory sentences.

from The Great Debate:

Why is Bloomberg keeping New Yorkers smoking?

By Patrick Gleason
August 13, 2013

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s aggressive nanny-state policies -- such as his crusades against trans fats and large-size sodas -- have been annoying and, at times, unconstitutional. While some of his critics have suggested sinister motives, the most charitable assessment has always been that Bloomberg is well-intentioned; it’s just that his policy solutions are misguided.

from Stories I’d like to see:

More questions for Bloomberg and Angelina Jolie

By Steven Brill
June 4, 2013

Actor Brad Pitt and his fiance Angelina Jolie arrive for the premiere of his film World War Z in Berlin June 4, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz

from The Great Debate:

A politics of ‘unreliable narrators’

By Jennifer Gilmore
April 3, 2013

An unreliable narrator cannot be trusted.

He comes in many guises. There is the delusional unreliable narrator, like Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, unaware of how the reader and the other characters perceive him. There is the mad narrator, as in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. There are the unreliable narrators who lie to themselves to make the unreality appear real. Middle-aged professor Humbert Humbert in Lolita famously lies to the jury and to himself,  believing his sexual affair with the drastically under-aged Lolita is not criminal. Yet Vladimir Nabokov, the author, gives a wink to  the reader: We know the protagonist is not being honest with himself.

from The Great Debate:

Seeking consensus on immigration, guns

By Bill Schneider
February 2, 2013

Two tough issues — immigration reform and gun control. “It won’t be easy,” President Barack Obama said about gun control in December, “but that’s no excuse not to try.”   Tuesday, he said about immigration reform: “The closer we get, the more emotional this debate is going to become.”