Finding an unpublished George Gurley piece is like opening a perfectly written time capsule. In May 2001, New York City was preparing to say farewell to a term-limited Rudy Giuliani and welcome anyone from Mark Green to Freddy Ferrer to Michael Bloomberg as its first new leader in eight years. An intrepid young Observer reporter named George Gurley hit the party scene to ask prominent New Yorkers what they thought would happen to the city. He wrote it up and then … it disappeared.
The Observer never published Mr. Gurley’s observations, captured first at the annual benefit for the African Rainforest Conservancy, held at the Park on 17th Street and Tenth Avenue and the second was for the tenth anniversary of the Paramount Hotel.
Twelve years later, as we approach another change of guard at City Hall, Mr. Gurley got to thinking about that piece. When he realized it hadn’t seen the light of day, Mr. Gurley, still an intrepid young Observer reporter, brought it to our attention.
President Obama will be in New York this month for the UN General Assembly, marking what has become a relatively rare presidential visit to the nation’s biggest city. In the last election campaign, for example, Mitt Romney and Obama were campaigning in just 10 states, and New York was not among them. When the candidates Read More
Election Day: 2013apalooza
Why did Christine Quinn lose, when she was supposed to win? Here’s a proposition: It was not because she helped Bloomberg to a third term, not because she was too politically moderate and not because Bill de Blasio’s kid cut an effective television ad. It was not because New York hates women either.
Ms. Quinn Read More
In May, news broke that our government had obtained—without a warrant—copies of phone records of the Associated Press offices in New York, D.C. and Connecticut, as well as reporters’ private lines. When I heard that, I was prompted to look up some easily obtainable data of my own: How many journalists are working in America, and how many Americans have security clearances?
There are about 65,000 journalists working for brands of one sort or another, according to a report in the Nieman Journalism Lab. And 5 million Americans now hold a security clearance.
For the past two months, I have intermittently been barred from Facebook.
The first time it happened was in June, when I tried to post my Israel Hayom column. Suddenly, a window popped up, telling me that inappropriate material had been found on, and removed from, my page. I was warned that if Read More
Student loan debt may be crippling everyone from recent college grads to senior citizens, but now New York parents will be able to start piling on the educational debt when their children are mere toddlers (the inverse, we assume, of saving for college?).
Today, City Council speaker and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn announced an initiative to offer middle and upper-middle class parents subsidized loans for daycare and pre-school with her council colleague and candidate for Manhattan borough president Jessica Lappin.
On the day of his inauguration earlier this month, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop was interviewed about his plans to transform his city.
With bravado, the smooth-talking new Democratic mayor declared on WNYC’s airwaves that he wanted to make Jersey City the best midsized city in the country. The city is in the midst of an impressive and ongoing renaissance, and Mr. Fulop said his vision was to entice young urban professionals priced out of Manhattan to cross the Hudson in lieu of settling in Brooklyn and Queens.
I don’t know if you remember me. I’m the guy who sat across from you at the group therapy meetings back in July 2011 that you joined after you resigned from Congress. I was the one with what Dr. Sexton called a classic voyeuristic sex addiction because I had watched the same Paris Hilton sex tape 5,000 times in two months and ended up with a form of carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand that was going to take years of physical therapy and got me a 30 percent disability for life. You’ll be happy to hear my hand is a little better. I can use it now for some basic tasks—not that one, I can assure you! But I’m still on a no-computer and no-iPhone regimen at home. I spend a lot of time at the library, as you might imagine.
When I got the email, I was traveling in one of the socialist fleshpots of Europe where cheap medical care flows like wine. Great news, my husband wrote, forwarding the report that, thanks to Obamacare, New Yorkers like us, now paying way more than a thousand a month for health care coverage, could soon be paying as little as $300.
Socialized medicine is finally coming to our American household. And now there’s nothing Rick Perry or the GOP can do about it.
Even though the rollout has been delayed, we are on the verge of the health care singularity: the moment when middle-class Americans begin to understand just how good it feels when, thanks to government intervention, health care is affordable. Once this happens, as in every other nation where health care is nationalized, there will be no going back. In Europe, even during the crisis, conservatives fight as hard as the left to keep their cheap socialized health care.
In his new book This Town (Blue Rider Press, 400 pp., $27.95), Mark Leibovich commits an act of treason against the Washington establishment. After years of attending its parties, Mr. Leibovich, a national correspondent for The New York Times, turns his pen against the city’s social class and empties his notebook of all the cozy friendships and indiscreet cocktail chatter. The book, when it finally came out last week, had already unnerved the capital for months. Politico published a prophylactic piece that attempted to scoop some of the book’s best scenes, with the clear message that their “Leibo” was no outsider.
But he doesn’t need to be. Mr. Leibovich goes out of his way to disclose his own insider status, and then uses it to deliver a thoroughly entertaining—and mildly devastating—critique of the grubby, self-dealing Washington establishment. His focus is on the city’s permanent class, “The Club,” as he calls it, “a political herd that never dies or gets older, only jowlier, richer and more heavily made-up.” Its members feed off a political establishment that seems far removed from public service, and they amass a local form of power through media hits, party invitations, Politico mentions and lots of loud conversations about their well-positioned friends. It’s “a system that rewards, more than anything, self-perpetuation,” and while it may be petty, transactional and transparent, as Mr. Leibovich points out, it often pays quite well.