Streams

Read. Argue. Listen. Act. Everything you need to know to participate.

Recently in It's A Free Country ®

Finding a Few Good Men in Politics - A New List

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

As our political landscape grows ever more polarized-and ordinary Americans feel increasingly alienated from the political process-the  
conventional wisdom seems to be that when it comes to elected officials, a good man is hard to find. The Good Men Project Magazine wanted to believe that there are a few good men in politics, so it spent the last few months looking for them.

Comment

The Trouble with Carl

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How did Carl Paladino become the Republican candidate for Governor of New York? Guess #1 is that it's an anti-incumbent year and, as people had heard of Rick Lazio, he took on the incumbent stench. Guess #2? There is no guess #2 — just the lingering question and answer: could Republicans possibly have picked a more inept candidate? No. No, we could not.

Read More

Comments [65]

Loud-Mouthed Homophobes Have Made Gay Violence Acceptable for Too Many

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Most people know that violence usually progresses from verbal abuse to physical abuse. We have no evidence of a direct connection between those accused of the crime and the biggest loudmouth homophobe in the state. However, it's probably more than a coincidence that Rubén Díaz’ hateful diatribes found a fertile place in the mushy brains of these cowards in the Bronx.

Read More

Comments [8]

Comptrolling Albany: DiNapoli vs. Wilson

Monday, October 11, 2010

WNYC
I worked to restructure broken companies, which is why I am running for New York State comptroller — to help restructure the broken operations of New York State.

-Harry Wilson, Republican for New York State Comptroller, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [2]

Having Your Governmental Cake And Eating It Too

Monday, October 11, 2010

A study by the Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University produce some interesting results: while there is great dissatisfaction with Washington, Americans still want the government to increase spending and involvement in some policy areas.

Read More

Comments [3]

Stucknation: Tunneling Through Muck and Mire

Sunday, October 10, 2010

If you’re going to build anything in the Meadowlands you got to add in the swamp factor. Since the grand plans by the Colonial Dutch to dam the swamp for farming, the Meadowlands have been confounding men and depleting their fortunes.

Read More

Comments [11]

Contest for Congress: Democrat Holt Fights to Keep Seat in NJ's 12th House District

Sunday, October 10, 2010

For six-term Democratic incumbent Rush Holt, this year's reelection bid is a tough one against Republican Scott Sipprelle.

Comments [1]

Paladino Would Veto Gay Marriage Legislation

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino said Sunday that he takes a "live and let live" approach to gay people -- but he doesn't want kids growing up to think that they are normal or should be emulated in any way. He said he would veto any legislation favoring same-sex marriages or civil unions and that it is one of the issues that distinguishes him from his Democratic rival Andrew Cuomo.

Comments [32]

The Inconvenient Truth about Offensive Funeral Protests

Saturday, October 09, 2010

All week, I've been listening to the coverage of the "funeral protest" case, Snyder v Phelps. Even though the Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday, and even though it is one of only two First Amendment cases this term, I hadn't planned to comment; but the old law teacher in me just can't keep silent anymore. I simply have to weigh in on two things: (1) misreporting of the issues in the case, and (2) the related oversimplification of the possible outcome.

Read More

Comments [5]

The Mix: Voices From The Week of October 4th

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Welcome to It's A Free Country's The Mix, where we take some of the notable clips and other voices found on WNYC this week and mix 'em up. Here's what we've got on tap. Voices are in blue, connections are bold, links to explore.

Comment

It's the Economy, Genius

Friday, October 08, 2010

Intellectualism in public office gets us phrases like "jobs created or saved" as a benchmark for measuring economic success. Any uneducated person, with a little bit of street smarts, knows there's no way to measure that we spent X amount of money to "save" Y amount of jobs.

Read More

Comments [5]

War Talk Misses the "X-Factor"

Friday, October 08, 2010

On the emotional side, he looks at this and realizes this is really gloomy and dreary. He never uses the word win. He never uses the word victory. There's this X factor in war where you have to have the will to win.

-Bob Woodward, associate editor at the Washington Post, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [2]

Bullhorn: End The War on Drugs, Obama

Friday, October 08, 2010

If Barack Obama and the Democrats really wanted to re-arouse the coalition of voters that gave Obama the White House two years ago, all it would take is a single issue we aren’t hearing about amidst the earnest back-and-forths over health care, TARP and taxing small business.

Comments [3]

Gail Collins on Political Baggage

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Gail Collins joined the Leonard Lopate Show on Tuesday, as she does every week for How Did Politics in America Get So Weird. This week we probed her on the Connecticut Senate race and the peculiar parlance of Carl Paladino.

Comment

Want to Break the Glass Ceiling? Give Young Women a Running Start

Thursday, October 07, 2010

USA Today had a troubling piece this week reporting that the outcome of the 2010 midterms could lead to the biggest reduction of female representation in Congress in over three decades.

Read More

Comments [4]

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say, Say it About Sarah Palin

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Meghan McCain is not the first person to become famous because of her name. Paris Hilton isn't exactly a fair comparison, blond and vacant though they both may be. At least Paris became famous in her own way, through sex tapes and reality shows, and not by becoming a faux expert on hotels, writing a nonsensical book about that time in the boardroom where like, omg, someone said something mean to her and she like, totally flipped out. 

Read More

Comments [21]

New Jersey: National Political Center of Gravity?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wednesday night, President Obama travels to Bergen County in New Jersey for a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. Meanwhile, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is finally back in the state after spending much of the last two weeks campaigning with Republican candidates in a national barnstorming tour that included a stop in Iowa.

Comment

Judging Judges

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

WNYC
Judges will often engage in behavior to make sure they stay below the radar, that they don't make a controversial decision. And that means for example, often times much harsher sentencing practices in the run-up to a retention election.

-Keith Bybee, professor at Syracuse University College of Law, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [1]

Pew Survey Gauges Public Opinion on NY Fiscal Policies

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

New Yorkers are alarmed about the state's finances, and they'd rather cut spending than raise taxes to make up future budget shortfalls. Those findings are from a phone survey of more than one thousand New York residents by the Pew Center on the States. The survey was part of a broader look at public opinion in five states that are making tough money choices in a time of scarcity.

Comment