50K Homeless in NYC


50,000 homeless in New York City. 21,000 children. The lasting legacy of Bloomberg and Giuliani–an extraordinary waste.

Overall, the homeless shelter system has grown 61% during Mr. Bloomberg’s three terms, raising questions about whether the city’s remarkable turnaround in the past two decades has benefited the poorest New Yorkers.

The Mayor tries to blame everyone other than his own sycophants and extraordinary ego, perhaps where it lies.


Another chance

Yes it’s a good thing. Yes it’s a chance to lock in the gains on healthcare reform, perhaps a chance to move past some of the ridiculousness of tax policy. But three distinct caveats:

  1. War is bad. Drones are bad. Secretiveness in foreign policy is bad.
  2. Did Mitt Romney lose because of his ideas or because voters didn’t like him? He had already lost to John McCain four years ago and McCain is distinctly unlikeable. We elect people, not so much policies. John Kerry, Al Gore, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis–all unlikeable. Bill Clinton, Barack Obama–wouldn’t you want to have them to dinner?
  3. Global warming? Hellooooooooo!!!!!


Testing, testing

Could you pass a 10th grade math exam? The Washington Post interviews a school board member from Florida who positively bombed a test called the FCAT which is required for graduation. While in general it’s undeniable that the US educational system is flailing around on the assumption that standardized tests are somehow going to make kids smart, there also is a funny undertone that there are two classes of students–those who need to be good at math and reading and those who only need to be “good enough.”.

In the streets of London

Looting is bad, just to say the obvious, but it’s hard not to think of all that has unfolded this year in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, et. al. while looking at reports of the London riots. You could certainly say that there are no similarities, that it’s pure avarice, criminality, and there are no lessons to be learned, but I would say that there are a lot of people who are angry–at the police, at the lack of opportunity, at being tantalized by the glossy consumable world. Are we going to address that?


There’s so little thoughtful discussion of immigration that reading Jose Antonio Vargas’s account of almost twenty years of hiding in plain sight in the Times is a bit shocking. Immigrants are a source of extraordinary dynamism and growth for a country and on simple, cynical, economic terms, the US and Europe need immigration fairly urgently. Vargas vividly illustrates the undercurrent of anxiety he felt for years and years even while he made lemons into lemonade (and won a Pulitzer)..