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2012

WNYC News

With Four Candidates Now Campaigning, 'Choice' Is The Theme

Monday, August 13, 2012

President Obama and GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan were in Iowa, where they told supporters that the general election would give voters a stark choice between two visions of the nation's future. With Mitt Romney in Florida and Joe Biden in North Carolina, all four candidates worked to energize supporters in key swing states.

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WNYC News

Pros And Cons: Ryan As Romney's VP

Saturday, August 11, 2012

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate seems to be uniting both Republicans and Democrats. Here's a quick look at the pluses and minuses of the decision, from the point of view of the man at the top of the ticket.

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WNYC News

In New Ads Focused On Character, Obama And Romney Get Personal

Friday, August 10, 2012

In new ads, President Obama and Mitt Romney seek to raise doubts about each other's character. Romney accuses the president of being willing to do anything to stay president. Obama's ad accuses Romney of making a "blatantly false" claim.

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WNYC News

Poll Shows Voters Split On Presidential Candidates' Tax Returns

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The findings appear to give Democrats plenty of fuel to continue pounding away at Republican Mitt Romney on his tax returns. But there appears to be almost as much support for Romney to stand firm.

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World Weekly with Gideon Rachman

London 2012: The first week of the Olympic games

Thursday, August 02, 2012

London 2012: The first week of the Olympic games

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Transportation Nation

What if NYC Had Won its Bid To Host the 2012 Olympic Games?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The proposed Olympic Village in Queens (image courtesy of NYC2012/Neoscape)

Fred Mogul will be on the Brian Lehrer Show Wednesday morning to discuss his reporting on this story.


(Fred Mogul - New York, NY, WNYC) Two fencers duel on a New York City sidewalk. One scores a hit. The other concedes. The winner claims the elusive, available taxi.

A woman weightlifter hoists a grocery-filled granny cart over her shoulders, crosses the neighborhood and climbs the stairs of a walk-up.

The images come from a pair of ads, back in 2005, with the tagline: “The Olympic Games in New York. We’ve been training for this forever. NYC-2012.”

But the training wasn’t enough. Seven years ago, London defeated New York City’s bid to host the XXX Summer Olympiad, and the results are on stage for all the world to see.

But what if the Big Apple had won? What would the games have looked like, and what would their legacy be? And would New Yorkers be any less ambivalent about the Olympics in 2012 than they were in 2005?

For one, there certainly would be a wealth of new structures.

Runners would be sprinting in an Olympic Stadium overlooking either the Hudson River or Flushing Bay.

Swimmers would be freestyling in a new aquatic center on the Williamsburg waterfront.

Cyclists would be zipping around a velodrome in the Bronx.

And thousands of athletes would be staying in the new Olympic Village, an apartment building in Long Island City, Queens, across the East River from the United Nations.

Most of the proposed facilities now exist only in the bid books the city and the non-profit NYC-2012 presented to the International Olympic Committee. But a handful of projects have been developed, even without the games. New York’s proposal emphasized that most of what the city would build was necessary, anyway. The Olympic legacy would pay dividends for generations to come, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others argued.

Mitchell Moss, an urban policy professor at NYU and a self-described “informal advisor” to Bloomberg, says so many things have, in fact, been built or are under construction from the Olympic bid that the city really did win the Olympics, figuratively speaking.

“The net effect of having this is that we basically took underused parts of our city and put them to use,” said Moss. “The Olympics are 17 days of sports, but what New York got is a century’s worth of new housing and infrastructure.”

Moss cites the following as Olympics-inspired triumphs:

  • The No. 7 subway is being extended from Grand Central Terminal to 11th Avenue. After several delays, the MTA says it’s schedule to open in mid 2014 and be fully completed at the end of 2015.
  • The revised Olympic stadium evolved into Citi Field, the home of the Mets, since 2009.
  • The would-be gymnastics center became the soon-to-open home of the Brooklyn Nets, Atlantic Yards.
  • A sports and cultural center at the 169th Street Armory in Harlem and a new aquatic center and ice rink in Flushing Meadows, Queens, were stalled 1990s projects, until the Olympic bid renewed pressure to fund them, bringing them to completion a few years later.

Less concrete — both literally and figuratively — victories are the Hudson rail yard on the far West Side of Manhattan and Hunters Point in Queens. Moss said the two massive industrial sites had been targeted for redevelopment for decades, but were always captive to controversy and inertia.

Moss puts them in the “win” column, arguing that pressure from the Olympics bid led to their rezoning for residential and commercial use.

“These were all tied to the Olympic [bid] deadline,” Moss said.

But Greg David isn’t so sanguine. The Crain’s Business columnist and CUNY professor calls the far West Side and Hunters Point — by far the biggest challenges before, during and since the Olympic proposal — Exhibits A and B of premature self-congratulation. Both sites have a handful of new buildings, but full development could take decades.

“It isn’t true ‘We won by losing,’ because [hosting] the Olympics would’ve pushed this agenda much further ahead,” David said. “Look at the Hudson rail yards. It’s supposed to be the next great Rockefeller Center. Well, the Olympics are about to start in London, and we’re not about to put the platform up that’s needed for that development, because there aren’t any tenants for it yet.”

New Yorkers were divided in 2005 about the merits of hosting the Olympics, and they continue to split over whether the crowds that would’ve converged and the development that would have ensued would have been good or bad for the metropolitan area.

“I think it would have been lots of fun and definitely help the area a lot,” said Kevin Li, 26, outside the Aquatic Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, where water polo games were slated to be held under the city’s proposal.

Nearby, Wayne Conti, 60, disagreed.

“Sometimes it turns out afterwards that in their rush to build they didn’t really build the right things and you’re kind of stuck with it afterwards,” he said.

Andrew Wong, 40, a Queens resident who works on the Far West Side sees both sides.

“For most of us regular working folks it would have wreaked havoc on our everyday lives,” he said.

But he noted development in the area, which is inevitable, would have moved forward more quickly and coherently, if the city had to build a stadium and whip the largely industrial area into shape by 2012.

“When you have a deadline everything falls into place. All the politics, all the deadlock with the government — everybody finds a way to make things happen. When you don't have a deadline, everything stretches out forever.”

Perhaps not forever. But for Hudson Yards, Hunters Point and other areas in the city’s Olympic bid book, it could take a while.

Whether New Yorkers think that’s a good or bad thing depends on whether they believe urban development, like the Olympics, should be Faster, Higher, Stronger — or they prefer a different approach, like Slow and steady wins the race.

Guia Maria Del Prado and Jorteh Senah contributed reporting

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WNYC News

Romney In London: Not A Smashing Success So Far

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mitt Romney's big foreign trip got off to a shaky start. Among several missteps, the Republican presidential candidate upset his British host by raising doubts about whether the London Olympics would be a success.

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WNYC News

Romney Adds Israel To Campaign Itinerary

Monday, July 02, 2012

The GOP candidate, who has criticized President Obama's policies toward the ally, will reportedly visit later this month.

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WNYC News

House Panel's Contempt Vote Against Holder Part Of Political Firefight

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

There's little evidence that the flap over Fast and Furious will make a difference to most voters come November. But there are a number of conservative gun owners in battleground states like Ohio who could be energized to oppose President Obama.

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WNYC News

Paul Krugman: Obama 'Screwed Up' Private-Sector Line

Monday, June 11, 2012

Paul Krugman thinks he knows what President Obama was trying to say when he infamously said that the "private sector is doing fine." But the economist and New York Times columnist said the president "screwed up the line."

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WNYC News

Public Still Mostly Hates Health Law With Supreme Court Ruling Just Weeks Off

Thursday, June 07, 2012

The latest major poll, commissioned by CBS News/NY Times just weeks before the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its ruling on the constitutionality of the health-care law. The survey found that nothing has happened to change the minds of a majority of the public that the law should be overturned.

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WNYC News

CEO In Chief? A Business Background Is Rare For Presidents

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Republican Mitt Romney is running on the strength of his business background. He says he knows how to fix the economy in part because of his success at Bain Capital. But history is not necessarily on Romney's side. Very few businesspeople have made it to the White House.

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WNYC News

Polls Show Obama's Support For Gay Marriage Influencing Blacks

Sunday, May 27, 2012

African-American opposition to gay marriage has declined significantly since President Obama's announcement, according to three polls.

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WNYC News

Inhale To The Chief: More Details Of Obama's Pot-Smoking Youth Revealed

Friday, May 25, 2012

President Obama revealed in his memoir "Dreams for My Father" his youthful use of illegal drugs as he grew up in Hawaii. But journalist and biographer David Maraniss apparently fills in the picture with quite a few colorful details.

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It's A Free Country ®

Obama Tosses 'Cowpie Of Distortion' Charge At Romney. And It's Just May

Friday, May 25, 2012

President Obama rhetorically hit Mitt Romney, the all-but-official Republican presidential nominee, with a little barnyard humor. He accused the former Massachusetts governor of not only lying about his record as president but Romney's also.

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WNYC News

Romney, Boehner Message: It's Still The Economy (Not Gay Marriage), Stupid

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mitt Romney and Speaker John Boehner showed a determination Thursday to keep the election-year debate confined to the topic on which they believe President Obama has the greatest vulnerabilty — the economy.

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WNYC News

Black Voters Likely To Stick With Obama Despite Gay Marriage Stance

Thursday, May 10, 2012

African-Americans, compared with other groups that make up the Democratic political base, have been the most resistant to an expansion of gay rights.

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Features

Obama Heads To Hollywood; Conservative Group Mocks 'Celebrity President'

Thursday, May 10, 2012

On Thursday, some of Hollywood's top stars and deepest pockets will congregate at the Studio City, Calif., home of actor George Clooney to mingle with President Obama and raise money for his re-election campaign. At least one conservative group is deriding Obama as a "celebrity president."

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WNYC News

Obama Gambles On Gay Marriage

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The president and his re-election team are clearly wagering that his support for same-sex marriage will attract more voters than it repels — and allow him to make the choice between himself and Mitt Romney even sharper.

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WNYC News

Sen. Lugar Loses Primary To Tea Party Challenger, Ending 36-Year Career

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana, currently the longest serving Republican senator, was known for reaching across the aisle.

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