Andrew Yang As Next New York City Mayor?

During 2019 and into the presidential primary season for the Democratic Party nomination I was struck, again and again, how many people were drawn towards the message of Andrew Yang. His message, which at times was not of the consultant-driven type one hears from a candidate for high office, resonated with many diverse friends on my Facebook feed. It was the first indication that he had that special quality that is a necessity in politics.

He spoke with facts, good grammar, and came across as a serious and intelligent candidate.

People listened to what he said and paid attention over the months of his race. It was more than just a new face on the debate stage, or that he was viewed as an outsider, which for some voters is an appealing touch. Rather, it was about how he framed issues and did not step out of his ‘lane’ in order to adopt the rhetoric of others in the race just to gain traction.

It is that steadfastness to his view of economics and the big issues driving our times that has him now the ‘talk of the town’. If you can call New York City a town.

Yang’s drive to be the next mayor of that essential American City is catching lots of attention as the remarkably diverse, boisterous, and power-laden environment will soon elect a new leader.

With his winning personality able to open doors for him, and his desire to impact racism, climate change, and address the poverty of those at the lowest economic rung means he now has a real chance at an election victory. The presidential race was never his to have, but it did allow him to be known and market his message.

A message, which many voters have embraced.

And so it goes.

Legendary Journalist Dies: Pete Hamill Was 85

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The iconic writer has now put his pen and pad down.

At a time when too many people write only texts and get bored with more than a few paragraphs of words, we need to be reminded of the ones like Pete Hamill who prove what can be done with solid sentences and why there are treasures galore inside the pages of both newspapers and books.

Legendary journalist and writer Pete Hamill dead at 85 after fall,” by the New York Daily News’ Larry McShane: “Pete Hamill, the Brooklyn-born bard of the five boroughs and eloquent voice of his beloved hometown as both newspaper columnist and best-selling author, died Wednesday morning. He was 85.

The legendary Hamill worked for three city tabloidsserving as editor for both the Daily News and the New York Post during a newspaper career that covered the last 40 years of the 20th century. … The lifelong New Yorker brought a touch of poetry to the tabloids, a sense of grace, wit and empathy amid the daily dose of crime and corruption. The author of more than 20 novels and more than 100 short stories also wrote long pieces on various subjects for The New Yorker, Esquire, Rolling Stone and New York magazine.

Hamill continued writing fiction into the new millennium, with “Tabloid City: A Novel” published in May 2011 and a collection titled “The Christmas Kid: And Other Brooklyn Stories” released a year later. He was working on another book titled “Back to the Old Country,” a reminiscence about the role his native Brooklyn played in his life, at the time of his death.

“Pete Hamill told New York’s story for 60 years,” tweeted Jim Dwyer, another former Daily News columnist now at the Times. “His voice rang loudest & truest when the city was in trouble in the 1970s, like the patriots in Casablanca drowning out the Nazis with La Marseillaise. The goodness of his generous heart never ran low. Thanks for all of it. RIP.”

Hamill’s 1960s contemporaries included some of the best writers of his or any generation: Fellow “New Journalism” acolytes Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Gay Talese and Norman Mailer. He and Breslin were highlighted last year in the acclaimed HBO documentary “Deadline Artists.”

Hamill recounted writing a heartfelt letter that convinced RFK to run for president. When the shooting started in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, he helped disarm killer Sirhan Sirhan as the mortally wounded Kennedy lay nearby.

“My notes told me later that Kennedy was shot at 12:10, and was carried out of that grubby kitchen at 12:32,” he wrote 40 years later. “It seemed a lot longer.”

He went south to cover Martin Luther King, and stayed home for the last interview with fellow New Yorker John Lennon. He reported on “The Troubles” in his ancestral homeland, and covered wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua and Lebanon.

At a time when too many people write only texts and get bored with more than a few paragraphs of words, we need to be reminded of the ones like Pete Hamill who prove what can be done with solid sentences and why there are treasures galore inside the pages of both newspapers and books.

Legendary journalist and writer Pete Hamill dead at 85 after fall,” by the New York Daily News’ Larry McShane: “Pete Hamill, the Brooklyn-born bard of the five boroughs and eloquent voice of his beloved hometown as both newspaper columnist and best-selling author, died Wednesday morning. He was 85.

The legendary Hamill worked for three city tabloidsserving as editor for both the Daily News and the New York Post during a newspaper career that covered the last 40 years of the 20th century. … The lifelong New Yorker brought a touch of poetry to the tabloids, a sense of grace, wit and empathy amid the daily dose of crime and corruption. The author of more than 20 novels and more than 100 short stories also wrote long pieces on various subjects for The New Yorker, Esquire, Rolling Stone and New York magazine.

Hamill continued writing fiction into the new millennium, with “Tabloid City: A Novel” published in May 2011 and a collection titled “The Christmas Kid: And Other Brooklyn Stories” released a year later. He was working on another book titled “Back to the Old Country,” a reminiscence about the role his native Brooklyn played in his life, at the time of his death.

“Pete Hamill told New York’s story for 60 years,” tweeted Jim Dwyer, another former Daily News columnist now at the Times. “His voice rang loudest & truest when the city was in trouble in the 1970s, like the patriots in Casablanca drowning out the Nazis with La Marseillaise. The goodness of his generous heart never ran low. Thanks for all of it. RIP.”

Hamill’s 1960s contemporaries included some of the best writers of his or any generation: Fellow “New Journalism” acolytes Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Gay Talese and Norman Mailer. He and Breslin were highlighted last year in the acclaimed HBO documentary “Deadline Artists.”

Hamill recounted writing a heartfelt letter that convinced RFK to run for president. When the shooting started in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968, he helped disarm killer Sirhan Sirhan as the mortally wounded Kennedy lay nearby.

“My notes told me later that Kennedy was shot at 12:10, and was carried out of that grubby kitchen at 12:32,” he wrote 40 years later. “It seemed a lot longer.”

He went south to cover Martin Luther King, and stayed home for the last interview with fellow New Yorker John Lennon. He reported on “The Troubles” in his ancestral homeland, and covered wars in Vietnam, Nicaragua and Lebanon.

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NRA Takes A Blow At Supreme Court

After a long holiday weekend, I am pleased to start the blogging week off with a positive news story.  We do need more of them.  Many, many more.

As readers know the scourge of gun violence has long been a theme on Caffeinated Politics. We simply must work to curtail gun deaths in the nation.  And the very last thing to be allowed is the relaxation of gun laws and regulations so as to allow for even more carnage on our streets and in our communities.   That is why the news today can be viewed as positive.

First a bit of a backstory as to how the Supreme Court is the cause for a bit of a smile today.  They reviewed a case regarding the limitations on New York City residents who had “premises licenses” from transporting their guns outside their homes. It allowed them to take their guns to one of seven shooting ranges within the city limits, but it barred them from taking their guns anywhere else.  It did not matter if the guns were unloaded and locked in a container separate from any ammunition.

A few city residents with undoubtedly support from NRA blood-money sued to challenge the law but lost in Federal District Court in Manhattan and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. A unanimous three-judge panel of the Second Circuit ruled that the ordinance passed constitutional muster.  After the Supreme Court granted review, the city repealed its law.

Leading up to the hearing today there was great glee among gun-toters of a future ruling which would broadly disallow various kinds of gun-control measures from local units of government.  But as the court seemed to strongly suggest there is nothing to need doing since the repeal of the New York City law made the case challenging it moot.

Now, of course, the NRA knuckle-dragging crowd will gripe and complain they have suffered a grievous unconstitutional blow that will only be corrected by the simpletons from around the nation coughing up some more money to be sent to their national offices. And we know that such baloney from the NRA sells like sweaters in the Artic. Someone in the NRA headquarters needs a new car, I suspect, for the holiday period and should not old Fred and the missus in Texas help with the downpayment?  “They want your guns, Fred! Send money, now!’

For the vast majority in this land who do support gun-control measures such as background checks and red-flag laws, we know questioning and comments from many justices today was important as there seems no willingness to give further foundation to the nonsense of the Heller decision.  And in that alone, there is a reason to call this a positive news story.  Not a bad way to start the blogging week.

Perhaps Just Govern…..

What to do? What to do?

When given no chance to compete on the main stage of American politics what can an elected official do?  What might someone who is not gaining anything other than negative press do when they already hold a major office in the land, but fail to make inroads when seeking an even higher office?

Well, they might consider buckling down the hatches back home and govern.

But, not so fast.  We are not talking here about just any ordinary politician or elected official.   This one being discussed has an ego the size of the city he leads.  And therein lies the problem.

Bill de Blasio thinks he is far more intelligent, capable, and even needed for the national stage than any of his current constituents do.  His worst press has come from his own backyard.  That must hurt.  But it does not stop him from preening and dreaming.

At some point–I suspect in late October–daylight will split the sky and de Blasio will come to terms with his limitations.

Until then, it is more of the same. 

(He) runs American’s biggest city, oversees a budget bigger than Ireland’s, and commands a police force larger than the army George Washington needed to win America’s independence at Yorktown.

But right now, all the mayor of New York City needs is something much more humble — and, so far, elusive: a measly bump in the polls, from 1 to 2 percent.

“Look, I’ve been at 1 percent, like, 10 times,” he said while waiting backstage for his turn to be number 15 of 19 presidential candidates to address a gathering of New Hampshire Democrats last weekend. “This is what’s so tantalizing and aggravating about this. Just go up one more percent and you’re in.”

For Those Who Love Political Fights On A State-Wide Stage

Having grown up in Wisconsin, and listening to Chicago radio most of my life, the image of real political brawling is the type exhibited by Windy City pols.  But the master of the craft are in New York!

If you want to read an article (and it is a sizable one) that will make you know how tame your politics are–regardless of where you might reside in the nation–well, take the time to read this story.

The idea of Mr. de Blasio and Mr. Cuomo ever collaborating on anything seems almost unfathomable nearly 16 years later. The two Democrats are now engaged in a feud so nasty, petty and prolonged that even in the cutthroat politics of New York, few can remember ever seeing anything quite like it.

The two men have sparred over substance, silliness and everything in between: public housing and private workout routineshomelessness and topless women in Times Square, taxing millionaires and euthanizing a deerLegionnaires’ disease outbreak and state troop deploymentsschoolssnowstorms and the subways — even naps.

“I’m not a napper, really,” Mr. Cuomo volunteered last year after reports of the mayor’s alleged penchant for napping. “I never have been.”

Smarmy Bo Dietl As Mayor Of New York? Yick.

One of those reads you need so to get some needed background.

“When Stephen K. Bannon got into a dispute with an ex-wife who accused him of domestic violence, he hired a private investigator with a history of digging up embarrassing information about people claiming to have been wronged. When the Fox News chairman Roger E. Ailes was accused in lawsuits of sexually harassing the network personalities Gretchen Carlson and Andrea Tantaros, lawyers for the company hired the same detective to spy on the women. … Mr. Dietl confirmed his involvement in each case described in this article, including the investigations for Mr. Bannon and Mr. Imus and into Ms. Tantaros, none of which had been disclosed previously. … The only divorce at that time was Mr. Bannon’s 1997 split from his second wife, who had accused him of attacking her. Former members of Mr. Dietl’s staff confirmed that the firm had been hired to investigate Mr. Bannon’s wife during a legal dispute related to the case. In the case, Mr. Bannon was charged with committing domestic violence and battery and dissuading a witness, his wife, from reporting a crime. But the case was dismissed when his wife did not attend a court hearing, records show. She later said in divorce papers that she had not gone because Mr. Bannon told her that ‘if I went to court, he and his attorney would make sure that I would be the one who was guilty.’ Afterward, Mr. Dietl continued to do a variety of work for Mr. Bannon for years, according to former members of Mr. Dietl’s staff. One investigator said he had talked to Mr. Bannon ‘hundreds of times’ over the years.”

What Is The Breakdown Between Millionaires And Homeless In New York City?

I found this interesting.

For every homeless person in New York City, about six millionaires walk the streets here. That’s about 60,000 homeless people and 389,000 millionaires. Manhattan houses 70 billionaires, more than anywhere else in the world.

 

Compromise Seems Possible Over Horse-Drawn Carriages In New York City

Not for the first time does this topic land on CP.

I have been most plain about how I feel over this matter.

There are some who feel that a ban on carriage horses in New York City is a wonderful idea, and seem to base their feelings on the notion that horses are being ill-treated if they are carrying passengers around at a gentle gait.  If there were any real mistreatment of these horses that merited some action it might then be sensible to tighten the regulations governing these businesses.  But just because some liken the pulling of carriages as cruelty to animals does not make it so.

Now comes news that there may be a deal on the making.

The chief sponsor of a City Council bill to ban carriage horses wants Mayor Bill de Blasio to move quickly to curtail the industry, even if it means limiting the number of horses instead of completely banning them as the mayor had first proposed.

“I am always open to compromise, so long as it’s in the best interest of the horses,” City Councilman Danny Dromm said in a statement Tuesday. “However, it’s time for action. The mayor should move forward quickly to resolve this issue.”

Dromm’s comments came the same day The New York Times reported de Blasio is backing off his proposal to ban the carriage horses outright and instead will submit a plan to slash the number of horses and contain them within Central Park.

De Blasio spokesman Wiley Norvell would not comment directly on the Times story but indicated negotiations were still ongoing.